Why TV Makes Sense for Facebook’s Next Frontier
Coming off a hot Q2 Earnings report, a handful of announcements around ad offerings like in-stream video ads, and deeper exploration of augmented reality capabilities, Facebook continues to prove its relevance to marketers and consumers.
Facebook is an undeniable force in the advertising ecosystem. For brands, it offers a real opportunity for revenue generation, with dynamic content built to engage users through the funnel in a brand-safe environment. It gives advertisers the ability to scale against any audience with increasing transparency, and in turn, a deeper understanding of “who” they’re buying.
The duopoly of Facebook and Google control roughly 75% of brand’s media spend today; and while that level of control likely won’t change by any significant amount in the near future, Facebook has proven that there’s never a time to put the brakes on innovation. Advertising growth inevitably slows, which means that in parallel, the tech giant must focus its evolution closely on the rapidly changing consumption habits of consumers.
The Expansion into Original Programming
Facebook has been aggressively ramping up its video strategy for some time now, but over the next several months, all eyes will be on Facebook as it dives into, what might be, the next era of its video offering – original TV content. The first question that comes to mind? “Why wouldn’t Facebook get into TV?” One thing that hasn’t changed over time is TV’s influence as media. But even with disruptors like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon in the space, there is always room for innovation. Not to mention, the new content offer could further entice the elusive Gen Z audience, who has been known to spend more of their time playing in the dynamic and interactive experience of Snapchat.
We already know Facebook is serious about its TV offer. Just under two weeks ago, it announced the launch of Watch, a new destination platform where users will be able to find its original programming. Additionally, Facebook (along with Apple and Google) hasn’t been shy about addressing the budget that quality programming requires. With plans to engage more than 30 content partners ranging from Tastemade to Refinery 29, a dedicated Hollywood development team, and further enhancements to drive viewers to the Watch tab, Facebook is clearly positioning itself as a dominant new force in TV.
The Right Move?
Could Facebook bring a genuinely valuable offer to consumers? Our immediate thought, is yes. But some questions inevitably come up, like:
- Will it be as easy as just flipping the switch on? Will users flock to Watch? How exactly will they make all of this happen?
- Will it resonate on the platform? Will it feel natural to users?
- What level of quality will Facebook’s content be? How much does that actually matter, based on the fact that so many people are already on Facebook? Will convenience outweigh quality for consumers?
- Will they ultimately share the data with big name creators, like Hollywood?
The Next Frontier…
While these questions remain, the simple answer is: TV could very well be Facebook’s next successful frontier. And it could be yet another essential opportunity for advertisers, with Facebook being in a prime position to help brands/creators know what’s really resonating on the platform by layering data over their high-impact premium content.
Long behind us are the days when Facebook was just a social network, but the original concept behind its social environment could actually prove itself an advantage in the play at TV. Pairing social and TV could bring communities together around content, where it can make a greater impact across screens than traditional TV media.
The opportunities are certainly all there – Facebook has the tech, the resources, the talent and the platform. If they build it, will consumers come? Only time will tell, but we believe this is going to be a good thing.