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Mace & Crown | July 26, 2017

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Facebook to Launch New Video Service

Daija Marrow | Contributing Writer

The idea of a video service has become Facebook’s next marketing strategy. The New York Post reveals that the feature will be called Spotlight. This service is being created with the help of popular websites such as Buzzfeed, Vox News and others.

Some of the videos on the service will be 20 to 30 minute long Facebook originals, targeting the millennial audience. Other videos will be five to 10 minutes, created by groups and companies unaffiliated with but paid by Facebook. Ad points will be included within the each video, bringing more attention to the ad service that drives Facebook’s profits as a free social media platform.

Paid video services have been growing in popularity since Hulu’s conception in 2007, Netflix’s conversion from a DVD distributor to a digital streaming service in 2011, YouTube Red’s introduction in 2014 and many other online streaming apps that have began combating the digital cable industry.

The ad inclusion gives the illusion that the streaming add-on will be free, but according to the official MLB website, Mark Zuckerberg has paid the MLB for the right to live stream 20 games this upcoming season.

Typically, live streamed sports events require a charge from the viewer, so there is no clear indication on whether or not this feature will be free. Live streaming sports games is a feature that neither Netflix or Hulu offer.

Twitter began implementing a free stream of Thursday night football in 2016, and it is no secret that Zuckerberg is one to use strategies of other social media platforms to boost Facebook’s credibility and activity.

Facebook will differ completely from sites such as YouTube because some of the content will be exclusive to this streaming service. Any other site obtaining this content would lead to a lawsuit. Apart from their personally owned content, Facebook will be paying other producers thousands of dollars to create videos, meaning that those creators could receive that pay directly rather than commission from monetized videos.

The profit made from partners and sponsors using their ad system is most likely to go directly to Facebook. The videos will not mimic standard shared video memes already common on the app. They are described as a completely new television series.

Facebook has not personally announced any hard facts regarding the upcoming service, but Digiday has information from anonymous sources that could provide additional information if interested.