Facebook, NFL Team For Video-Sharing Effort

Facebook and the National Football League have entered into a video-sharing partnership, and Verizon Wireless is coming along for the ride.

The wireless carrier is sponsoring videos -- featuring highlights, breaking news, and fantasy league tips -- which will appear in the news feeds of select Facebook users. Facebook and the NFL will share the resulting ad revenue.

"This is a small video sponsorship test, and we will be evaluating how people, publishers, and marketers respond to this kind of co-branded video content on Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson told Social Media & Marketing Daily, on Friday.

Along with TV networks, social channels are benefiting from a boom in live sporting events, industry watchers say. In part, that’s because second screens and social channels are increasingly part of the TV-viewing experience. Indeed, TV viewers add another screen to their media experience at least 20% of the time, according to recent findings from Symphony Advanced Media.

Facebook has every reason to be optimistic about its ongoing video investments. Growth in click-throughs for video ads has outpaced clicks for other types of page posts on the social giant, according to Kinetic Social.

Videos uploaded directly to Facebook now outnumber YouTube videos posted to the site, according to recent data from social analytics firm Socialbakers. Also, as of November, Facebook Pages posting Facebook videos now outnumber Facebook pages posting YouTube videos.

Across channels, video is booming, and it holds huge monetization opportunities. Indeed, online video's share of global ad spend will increase from 1.9% in 2014 to 2.8% in 2017, according to ZenithOptimedia's new Advertising Expenditure forecast.

On a daily basis, Facebook regularly racks up more than 1 billion video views, per its own product management department. Facebook continues to test new ways to make money off video. Most recently, the social giant began letting advertisers serve auto-play video promotions within its mobile apps as part of their app install ads.

Eying an even bigger share of the video pie, Facebook is reportedly developing a dedicated video platform to compete directly with Google’s YouTube unit. “We are convinced that Facebook will launch a competitor to YouTube and will attract and organize more and more user-generated video content,” Macquarie Securities analyst Ben Schachter predicted in a recent report.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the partnership, this week.

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