The likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime may have a sizeable new rival in the near future as Facebook is looking to get in on the online streaming act. Streaming is rapidly becoming one of the most popular ways for people to consume television and movies and a recent forecast suggested that revenue from this source would overtake that of cinema box office income within the next few years.
The fans haven't exactly been short-changed either and have been treated to a number of fantastic original series such as Netflix's Stranger Things and Amazon Prime's The Man In The High Castle. Such platforms also give access to shows like AMC's Better Call Saul and as these services grow in popularity, the quality and star-power of their programming also increases.
Now it seems Facebook are ready to branch out into the television market too in their ongoing mission to conquer the internet. According to The Wall Street Journal, (via DigitalSpy) the social media giant aims to publish its own original TV content and is in talks with several major studios in order to produce such material. The report claims that the site is aiming primarily at the 13-34 age group and will focus on reality, comedy and drama whilst avoiding any controversial or mature content. Among the first shows to see the light of day will reportedly be a drama called Strangers and a game show titled Last State Standing and these will air on an episode-by-episode basis.
For anyone who has followed Facebook's industry activity over the past few years, this news should perhaps not come as a huge surprise as the company have actively sought out new revenue streams, particular in relation to video content. The site has already formed a partnership with BuzzFeed in order to produce original content and the move into the realm of streaming just takes this concept one step further.
This could potentially be a very exciting development for TV fans. Facebook have a glut of financial resources at their disposal and by working with Hollywood studios, the material could potentially end up being very high quality and easily accessible television.
However, Facebook's streaming success will likely depend on how this content is distributed. Anyone with a Facebook account will probably already be fed up with the amount of videos clogging up their timeline and if the new content is forced upon users without them "signing up" to see it, the move is unlikely to go down well. Payment will also be a sticking point. If the new service is free to Facebook users and gains revenue from advertisements, it will immediately have an advantage over its rivals but if a subscription model is used, it'll face stiff competition from Netflix and company.
Source: The Wall Street Journal (via DigitalSpy)