After a number of efforts to stir video for its “social-media first” digital platform -- Facebook Live, among them -- Facebook is making a specific more TV-video play: A TV-like digital set-top box app on new over-the-top services like Apple TV, at least according to one report.
Like all established digital media companies, Facebook continues to seek growth -- looking squarely in the eyes of traditional TV advertisers.
Facebook can surely talk up its increasing knowledge of video. For example, it says video views on its platform grew more than 50% from May through July of last year, and since June, there has been an average of more than 1 billion video views on Facebook each day.
This being early 2017 -- a few months before TV advertisers begin traditional linear TV media plans for the upfront TV advertising market -- Facebook wants to make another big showing, in its attempt to lure potential traditional TV media dollars.
This set-top box app story, from The Wall Street Journal, comes with the next obvious move: licensing long-form premium TV programming content. All this looks to change the perception among TV marketers, which spend big dollars -- some $70 billion a year, according to estimates.
Facebook isn’t suggesting it does video in addition to the social media engagement marketers love. Instead, in effect, it’s saying video comes first.
The company pulled in $17 billion for all advertising -- display, video, or otherwise -- in 2015. It soared 58% in 2016 to $26.8 billion.
The social media giant perhaps looks at Netflix and thinks: How can we become that kind of media player, but as a premium ad-supported video platform?
What will that app look like as TV? It better look TV-familiar -- and unique -- because that is what TV marketers, and their big media wallets, want.