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Facebook Launches ‘Watch’ To Combat Netflix & YouTube

Facebook has further expanded into the streaming video on demand (SVOD) market, launching its new ‘Watch’ service worldwide, in a bid to combat Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video.

From today, Aussies can access a slew of content via the Facebook Watch tab, including recommended videos from pages they follow.

‘Watch’ was first launched in the United States nearly a year ago, with Facebook commissioning a range of exclusive content from the likes of CNN and Fox News

Facebook has not confirmed what exclusive content will be available solely to Australians.

The social media giant claims over 50 million people in the US watch videos for at least a minute on Facebook Watch each month.

Despite its attempt to take on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, Facebook Watch is yet to produce content that has received an awards nod.

Whilst ‘Watch’ is still in infancy, commentators claim this could evolve with time. For the near-term, many agree Facebook Watch will focus on short form content (like YouTube) rather than movie length videos like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

Popular Facebook Watch shows include the Jada Pinkett Smith featured ‘Red Table Talk’, ‘Sorry For Your Loss’ with Elizabeth Olsen, and reality show ‘Face the Wild’ starring Bear Grylls.

‘Watch’ is also positioned as an additional revenue stream for Facebook, who has launched ‘Ad Break’ in Australia. The service will publishers to insert mid-roll and pre-roll ads into videos. Creators will snare 55% of revenue, with Facebook taking the remaining 45%.

To access Ad Break, pages must feature at least 3 minute videos with over 30,000 one-minute [total] views in the past two months. Page follower count must exceed 10,000 in addition to other guidelines.

The news comes as several popular YouTube creators vent their frustrations over its changing revenue model. Commentators question what effect this will have on Facebook Watch, with many using Amazon’s Twitch for further revenue streams.



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