Facebook to launch TV streaming as early as June

The social network is recruiting producers to create 30-minute TV dramas in the vein of 'House of Cards'

Facebook to launch TV streaming as early as June

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, speaking at a developers conference in April [Andrej Sokolow/DPA/PA Images]

Not content with having scalped Snapchat, Facebook is now reportedly scouting Hollywood for TV producers as it aims to take on streaming giants Netflix and Amazon.

Several unusual job listings have appeared on Facebook’s career page, with the social network currently seeking to recruit a movie producer, a film software engineer, and a production lead tasked with developing the social network’s video business.

Behind the scenes

This employment drive is just a starting point, with Facebook reportedly set to debut two dozen native shows as soon as June. The social network intends to launch a video-first TV business with five-to-ten minute web shows, premiering new episodes daily. Facebook is also looking to work on longer, bigger-budget shows that could have running times of 30 minutes.

An already green-lit show comes from publishing giant Condé Nast, and is billed as a dating show where participants connect online before taking the plunge and meeting in person. Facebook is also reportedly courting influencer and A-list celebrities, developing shows around their personal brands.

It is unclear whether Facebook will launch its TV service as a subscription-based model, like soon-to-be rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but it is more likely the company’s targeted advertising will provide the revenue necessary.

Social TV media

Facebook is not the first social medium to look to broadcast television as a way to diversify its platform; Snapchat recently struck a deal to produce original show content with a number of well-known networks, including Discovery, BBC, ESPN, and Vice Media.

Last year, Twitter and the National Football League to live stream video footage of Thursday night games online. While the NFL has now switched that agreement to Amazon, Twitter has indicated it is hoping to secure rights to other sports, particularly the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

And YouTube, owned by Google, announced last week seven original shows featuring celebrities like Katy Perry, Ellen DeGeneres, and Kevin Hart; all of these shows will appear on YouTube’s free service, with advertising, while the website continues to tinker with its subscription Red service.

Netflix, which recently secured more investment to create its own original scripted content, has previously ruled out any interest in live sports broadcasting. But Facebook is reportedly considering sports fixtures as a way to grow its network into a media platform.

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