In a move to popularize video streaming feature Facebook Live among its 1.65 billion users, the social networking giant has signed deals with nearly 140 media companies and celebrities to create videos, the media reported on Wednesday. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Facebook will pay over $50 million to video creators. Its partners include BuzzFeed, CNN, the New York Times, Vox Media, Mashable, Huffington Post and celebrities like new-age guru Deepak Chopra, actor-comedian Kevin Hart and top chef Gordon Ramsay, among others. Also Read - Facebook gives voice to emojis with Soundmoji: Here's how to sendAlso Read - Netflix could launch its video game streaming service next year, at no extra cost
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“We wanted to invite a broad set of partners so we could get feedback from a variety of different organizations about what works and what doesn’t,” Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of global operations and media partnerships, said in an earlier statement. Facebook and YouTube are fighting to become the leader in online video streaming. Facebook, during its quarterly earnings call recently, announced that its users watch 100 million hours of video each day and that 500 million people watch video daily on the social network.
Facebook has begun testing the ability to share live videos on the networking site for people across the world. “Live lets you show the people what you’re seeing in real time — whether you’re visiting a new place, cooking your favorite recipe, or just want to share some thoughts. No matter where you are, Live lets you bring your friends and family right next to you to experience what’s happening together,” Facebook posted.
According to WSJ, the highest-paid publisher is BuzzFeed which is expected to receive $3.05 million for broadcasting live between March 2016 and March 2017. Second is New York Times which is set to receive $3.03 million for a 12-month deal. CNN is at third with a $2.5 million deal. “Facebook is an advertising powerhouse and accounts for nearly 20 per cent of US mobile ad revenues, according to eMarketer, it has yet to tap into digital video as a major revenue source, unlike Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube,” the report added. The first reports about Facebook paying media companies and/or celebrities to create live video were out in March this year. The live-streaming feature was first launched for celebrities last year and then rolled out to all.