Recode reports that Facebook may stop paying publishers to make live videos, after dishing out more than $50 million to over 140 publishers in FB Live contracts last year.

Why?:

  • Diminishing ROI: A large international marketing campaign targeted to everyday users could suggest that Facebook sees diminishing returns on investment in paying publishers to create content that everyday users can now create for free.
  • Long-form video pivot: This could be yet another signal by Facebook that it is readying its plans to distribute its long-form content to compete with the likes of Netflix or Amazon. In 2016, the tech giant rolled out a video tab on its platform and said they were exploring "funding some seed video content."

Winners: You. This could be good news for everyday users who are being inundated with live content flooding their streams on numerous social platforms. The push for publishers to create enough Facebook Live content to fulfill contract needs often meant publishing video that wasn't suited for a Facebook Live audience, like hour-long live discussions and panels at events.

Losers: Amazon, Netflix, and TV networks. Facebook's pivot to long-form, professionally-produced could be aimed to gobble audience and advertising dollars from companies that create long-form content, like Amazon, Netflix, and TV networks. For TV networks, the television audience is already accustomed to engaging on Facebook. A new Nielsen study published Tuesday says Facebook users average 3.9 TV-related engagements on Facebook each day. Facebook's head of creative strategy said last year that funding long-form video "takes advantage of mobile and the social interaction unique to Facebook."

Smart take: Expect publishers to pull back live content efforts if a new business model isn't introduced for them to monetize on the platform. As CNN's Executive Vice President Andrew Morse said earlier this month, "It's going to be hard for us to continue to do Facebook Live long-term if we can't figure out how to monetize it, because we're able to monetize our video really well in other places."

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Updated 56 mins ago - World

Pandemic plunges U.K. into "largest recession on record"

The scene near the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England in the City of London, England. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom slumped into recession as its gross domestic product GDP shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: Per an ONS statement, "It is clear that the U.K. is in the largest recession on record." The U.K. has faired worse than any other major European economy from coronavirus lockdowns, Bloomberg notes. And finance minister Rishi Sunak warns the situation is likely to worsen.

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The United Kingdom slumped into recession on Wednesday, as its gross domestic product GDP shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year.

By the numbers: Over 741,400 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and more than 20.2 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. Almost 12.6 million have recovered from the virus.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,294,091 — Total deaths: 741,420— Total recoveries: 12,591,454Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,141,207 — Total deaths: 164,537 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.
  7. World: Anthony Fauci "seriously" doubts Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe