September 11, 2017:Facebook expected to spend $1bn on original video shows

Don’t get too carried away with reports that Facebook is planning to splash a 10-figure budget on original-video shows in the next year.

That would represent just 3.7% of the social network’s revenues for the whole of 2016, or around a seventh of what Netflix is expected to spend on content in 2018.

Even so, a billion dollars is a significant bet on original video shows, which will live within Facebook’s recently-launched ‘Watch’ section of its service.

The figure comes from the Wall Street Journal, which warns that the budget “could fluctuate based on the success” of the first batch of shows.

The claim comes a few months after Facebook was reportedly earmarking up to $3m per episode for original shows on its network, targeting traditional producers and new-media stars.

For now, Facebook isn’t quite taking on the big-budget commissions of Netflix, HBO and Amazon. It’s more about establishing itself as a venue for shorter-form social viewing against YouTube, with Apple’s original-content ambitions currently lying between the two poles.

Stuart Dredge
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