The reach of streaming services has been predicted to soon surpass that of cable television in American households, 53% of which currently subscribe to at least one OTT streaming service. Because of this unprecedented growth and untapped market reach, the landscape for streaming services has gotten increasingly crowded as more and more competitors throw their name into the ring. With a market size approaching $70 billion, it’s no wonder that any venture capitalist or tech entrepreneur worth his or her salt would want to get a slice of the over-the-top (OTT) streaming service pie. Currently, Netflix remains the clear winner with rivals YouTube, Amazon Prime and Hulu close behind. Now, an unlikely contender has appeared on the streaming scene: Facebook.
Sure, we’re all familiar with the sometimes-controversial Live Video feature Facebook rolled out last year, but their new product will be something different entirely. According to Business Insider, the new service will reportedly be called “Facebook TV” and will stream original content.
Like other streaming services, Facebook TV will feature original series and possibly films. Facebook is reportedly looking to feature big-budget full-length series to rival Netflix’s and Hulu’s offerings while also featuring shorter, cheaper programs which would renew every 24 hours.
Of course, being Facebook and all, the video service will ultimately be yet another vehicle for advertising. In a recent conference call with Facebook investors, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that he intends the business model of Facebook TV to be distinctly different from that of other streaming services like Netflix which are commercial-free and rely on subscriptions:
The goal is going to be creating some anchor content initially that helps people learn that the video tab [is] a great destination where they can explore, and come to Facebook with the intent to watch the videos that they want. And then the long-term goal is actually not to be paying for specific content like that, but doing a revenue share model once the whole economy around video on Facebook is built up.
A launch date has yet to be announced, but rumors have it that Facebook TV will appear sometime in mid-June 2017.