Marketing 3 min read

Facebook TV, Amazon Twitch on the Edge; YouTube Must Respond

Mark Zuckerberg | Frederic Legrand - COMEO |

Mark Zuckerberg | Frederic Legrand - COMEO |

Facebook is set to launch its own TV shows next month, with more than a dozen long and short form entertainment for the project’s initial push. Amazon’s Twitch also is planning on streaming what they hope to be next-gen “choose your own adventure” TV shows.

Acquiring broadcasting rights, live streaming deals, producing unique video content, and creating TV channels… Big announcements keep rolling in from Internet giants. After Twitter and Bloomberg’s deal to launch a 24/7 news streaming channel, now it’s Facebook and Amazon’s turn to provide the proof that TV is not dead–just changed.

Facebook TV Shows

Facebook has a whole business strategy geared towards video. Looking to rake in TV ad dollars, Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear that the company is pushing to become “video first.”

“I want to start by talking about our work around putting video first across our apps,” said Zuckerberg last year during a FB Q3 earning call.

Facebook TV and Amazon Twitch could replace YouTube as the premier Internet video content provider.Click To Tweet

According to Business Insider, Facebook is developing a couple dozen TV shows and plans to launch them mid-June 2017. Two tiers of programs are planned: long, big-budgeted shows following the TV traditional format, and other, shorter video clips of about five to ten minutes with smaller budgets that would be updated every 24 hours.

While the FB newsfeed is already home to short videos, users’ reaction to long traditionally-made shows is unclear at this point. That said, Facebook TV has yet to be confirmed, as FB has declined to comment on the news.

Amazon Twitch: Choose Your own TV Adventure

Three years ago, Amazon made headlines with its $1 billion acquisition of Twitch. Founded in 2011, Twitch is a video game streaming platform and gamer community that caters mainly to young viewers.

Searching for a new way to cash in on its community of 9.7 million daily users and over 2 million streamers per month, Amazon Twitch is now planning to stream traditional TV shows, but with a twist. Amazon Twitch users will have a say on the development of the produced programs. Let’s say viewers see an episode of a show and then comment and provide feedback about what they liked or disliked and how they want the story to be developed. Producers would take users input into consideration and might change next episodes to reflect it.

Although it may find a favorable echo among Twitch users, this “choose your own adventure” strategy requires high production values, as episodes need to be scripted and produced during the week, all while having to integrate users plot points.

YouTube on its Decline

All this doesn’t bode well for YouTube, which is facing backlash from advertisers whose ads were placed over questionable content. This long-standing, internet video platform has already lost 5 percent of its top tier North American advertisers.

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

Comments (3)
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  1. Jack Smith May 09 at 12:59 pm GMT

    YouTube has 10x the hours viewed per day compared to FB video with 1 billion hours and FB 100 million.

    But last year YouTube actually grew faster than FB and growth is accelerating. If we look at YT hours per day we have

    2014 – 300 million
    2015 – 500 million
    2016 – 1 billion hours

    So this article is a little puzzling on why would Google need to respond? Seems like Google is killing it with YT. What am I missing?

    • Brett Forsberg May 09 at 3:06 pm GMT

      And YouTube actually grew at the beginning of this year, too, in terms of viewership. The platform is still very strong. Their recent troubles with advertising revenue is the only decline I wished to point out. In this way, I was hoping to show how Amazon and Facebook’s new platforms might be able to take advantage of a chink in YouTube’s armor.

      • Jack Smith May 10 at 1:14 pm GMT

        YT is a global brand where you go to see video. With a HUGE group of people in a classroom and someone interrupts my presentation with Trump fires Comey. I say let’s take a break.

        Decided to walk the room and the ones watching videos were on YouTube. It is what you do. Is that going to change?

        The inappropriate videos is NOT unique to YT. You look for difference and that is just not a difference.

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