Earlier this year, Facebook made the perhaps predictable-by-now announcement that it was moving into the streaming video world with its own “Facebook TV” streaming service. After all, who isn’t getting into streaming video these days? Internet-only streaming services, known as over-the-top or OTT services, are all the rage in the tech world. Nearly every major tech player is somehow involved with an OTT streaming service now, and new options are popping up like weeds every day. While the handful of big-name players retain their dominance for now, many of these new competitors are gaining traction.
However, Facebook TV might have a bigger challenge on its hands than swaying cable cutters to switch to their new streaming service. According to a recent article by Business Insider, Facebook TV is struggling to secure the deals with traditional TV advertisers that it has been attempting to bring to its new service.
Facebook and Facebook TV want to position themselves as a competitor alongside not only other streaming services but also cable television providers; to that end, Facebook TV has attempted to sway traditional TV advertisers to sign agreements with their upcoming service. According to some industry insiders, that attempt isn’t going so well. Business Insider quoted one unnamed top TV ad sales executive as saying “We’ll never let them sell our stuff.” Tough break, Zuckerberg.
That doesn’t mean that Facebook TV is dead on arrival, merely that the firm might have to seek out alternative methods of selling advertising than their original plan. Sure, more and more consumers might be cutting the cable, but old habits die hard in an industry estimated to be worth $70 billion. The companies which traditionally advertise on television – beer, pharmaceuticals, home goods, cars – are slow to change and generally wary of developments which might affect their heretofore successful advertising model. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Someone better ask Facebook TV the same thing.