Facebook talking to Hollywood to produce original TV shows: report

Facebook appears to be sending friend requests to Hollywood studios to work on original television programming targeted toward young users.

Like Apple and Google via YouTube, Facebook is seeking to produce video content for its platform to challenge Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Facebook reportedly is willing to pay a steep price to reach it, discussing with Hollywood talent agencies up to $3 million per scripted episode, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited “people familiar with the matter.”

“We’re focused on episodic shows and helping all our partners understand what works across different verticals and topics,” said Nick Grudin, Facebook’s vice president for media partnerships, to the Journal.

Facebook is targeting in particular the 13-to-34 crowd, with a focus on ages 17 to 30. But Facebook will reportedly shy away from producing content with any ““political dramas, news (or) shows with nudity and rough language.”

The Menlo Park-based tech giant has a few shows in the works already. “Strangers,” a relationship drama produced by the fashion and style website Refinery29, will be broadcast on the social media platform. Facebook also plans to launch a game show called “Last State Standing,” produced by the creators of “American Ninja Warrior.” Facebook hopes to launch them by this summer.

Facebook also expressed of partnering with media outlets like BuzzFeed and Vox Media, according to The Verge (which is owned by Vox Media). Facebook reportedly had two types of shows in mind: 20-to-30-minute shows which Facebook will own outright, and 5-to-10-minute shows for which Facebook will pay 45 percent of the ad revenue to the outlets that own the content.

Facebook’s entry into original programming will face a glut of Silicon Valley competition. Apple has launched several shows of its own, from the “Shark Tank”-esque reality TV show “Planet of the Apps” and the upcoming “Car Karaoke” spin-off.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, launched YouTube TV, a $35-per-month subscription platform which live-streams cable sports events and TV shows and will start producing its own original shows with celebrities like Kevin Hart and Ellen DeGeneres.


Photo by AFP/Getty Images


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