Facebook to make debut in premium TV shows next month

Lyndsi Stafford		@LyndsiStafford

Social networking giant Facebook Inc.is reportedly making preparations for releasing a line-up of TV-style shows on its site as soon as in June this year. The social network giant is reportedly developing nearly two dozen original shows which will premiere as early as mid-June.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, in company's Q1 earnings call, said that he has been doubling down on investment in video, predicting that the news feed will eventually be mostly video.

According to sources speaking to Business Insider, Facebook will offer two tiers of programing.

Multiple people mentioned Netflix's "House of Cards" as a representation of the caliber of shows that have been pitched to Facebook for its higher tier, while another cited "Scandal" as an example. The other format would be five to ten minute videos, more in line with what's already common on social media, and may include daily episodes added to Facebook's video tab. The Business Insider report even claims that one of the shows has already cast a Hollywood A-lister.

Sources are framing this push as Facebook simultaneously picking up the torch of advertiser-supported television as well as an attempt to keep pace with Snapchat.

Facebook looks at scripted programming as a crucial step to retain users, particularly the company's younger demographic share that is flocking to its rival - Snapchat. With Facebook unveiling shows in time for the Cannes Lions advertising festival, the wait to see what they've come up with won't be a long one. This low-priced show will appear on Facebook app's video tab every 24 hours.

While it seems Facebook's original programming plan is in full gear, there is still a spate of questions that loom.

"We've seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook - either live or in video posted later", Zuckerberg wrote. Our goal is to kickstart an ecosystem of partner content for the tab, so we're exploring funding some seed video content, including original and licensed scripted, unscripted, and sports content, that takes advantage of mobile and the social interaction unique to Facebook.

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