Facebook’s new addition could give us a glimpse of its video strategy
We know now that Facebook has changed its tack somewhat with regards to what it’s doing in sport.
We know that live video is still key to its output, as it brings masses of people to its platform all at the one time. And we know that the new Watch tab will bring longer-form, more polished video content to our screens of all kinds, be it laptops, phones or even Chromecasts and Apple TVs.
But what we don’t really know just yet is where publishers, rights holders and even sports teams themselves come into this. We’ve already seen that Facebook is cutting back some of the money it’s given to teams to create live video in favour of perhaps getting more timeless content, maybe documentary style videos which are longer and serve more of an ‘on-demand’ niche.
The ‘Hala Madrid’ documentary produced by Real Madrid is one way of creating that, and the great thing about sports teams and sports fandom in general is that every team and its fans have a story to tell. So does every athlete and every league. And the best part is that the saga gets added to every year. There may be scope for behind-the-scenes footage from training every week, and lots of people might also want to watch it. But if fans are being offered the chance to consume different kinds of content about clubs or athletes which feel more timeless, they can factor that into their weekly agenda rather than having to make the time there and then when they’re scrolling through their newsfeed.
This week, we may well have got a glance into the direction that Facebook wants to take their sports video output in as the company advertised for a new sports partnerships and programming executive who will, among other things “Lead EMEA sports video partnership efforts with an emphasis on live sports events & original content.”
Facebook, it seems, will be doing more than just asking content creators to come up with new videos for its platform and will make sure to collaborate with them on the production of videos. And it looks like the social media giant will be looking to actively have some sort of direction over the video side of its output.
The Live side of things was certainly very much expected, but perhaps the most interesting thing about this is the original content part, the bit that seems to hint at an OTT style on-demand video section, and it will be interesting to see what sort of content comes out of that.
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