Published: Fri, December 15, 2017
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Facebook pushes pre-roll ads on Watch as it stops subsidizing Live

Facebook pushes pre-roll ads on Watch as it stops subsidizing Live

Facebook has incentivized users over the past year to post more live videos, longer form videos and videos generally.

With this update, we will show more videos in News Feed that people seek out or return to watch from the same publisher or creator week after week - for example, shows or videos that are part of a series, or from partners who are creating active communities. But Facebook also has plans to let people submit shows or videos as they do on Alphabet Inc's YouTube.

Now that Facebook has you hooked on videos, it's not going to keep delivering them to you entirely free.

The videos will pop up in your News Feed for any video publishers or creators you've searched for or have ever liked.

Finally, beyond ads, Facebook touted branded content as another way that video creators are monetizing on the platform to great success. That's different from YouTube, where pre-rolls can in theory be many minutes long, but users often have a chance to skip those ads. That could help Facebook develop a few flagship Shows, as nothing has quite broken out of the crowd of low quality, often unscripted content in Watch.

Meanwhile, Facebook is investing more money in video. Now before you guys get too worked up over this, note that this change only applies to videos under the "Watch" tab. "We think they will work well in Watch because it's a place where people visit and come back to with the intention to watch videos", Facebook said in in a blog post on Thursday.

Approximately noone on the entire internet wants to click on a video and immediately watch an advertisement, but Facebook wants to try pre-rolls out to see if it works well enough to strike a happy tone with both publishers and viewers.

The big loser here, though, are the publishers who took Facebook's Live and on-demand News Feed video subsidies, built up big teams of staffers to produce the expensive content, and are now being shooed towards other monetization options that might not be mature enough to pay the bills.

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