Feb 14, 2017

Facebook finally debuts a TV app

Facebook announced Tuesday a new video app for TV, which will roll out soon to app stores for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV, with more platforms to come. It's another step for the social media giant, which needs to add revenue that doesn't come from its main advertising platform, the newsfeed.

Winners: Facebook and potentially publishers that will have an accessible distribution platform, depending on the cost structure of Facebook content licensing fees.

Losers: OTT and subscription-based content companies, like Amazon, Netflix and Hulu, as well as other social platforms, like Snapchat and Twitter. In October Snapchat announced it was moving from a revenue-sharing model towards a content-licensing model. Twitter tested content-licensing partnerships in 2016 with Bloomberg and the NFL to livestream debates and football games.

Why it matters: A long-term content licensing strategy will present a more sustained approach to capturing part of the $70 billion TV ad market. Leading up to Tuesday's announcement, Facebook has taking strategic steps to move into the content-licensing business. Last week, Facebook hired MTV executive Mina Lefevre to lead development of scripted and unscripted content. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that tech giant is in talks with other media companies to license long-form programming in an effort to become a video-first platform.

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