Facebook’s plan to seed the service with television-like shows now has some names behind it. BuzzFeed and Vox are among the media companies that have signed deals with the company to create short-form series, according to Reuters. The shows, which were originally expected to debut next month, are now expected to arrive closer to the end of summer.
Reuters reports there will be two types of shows: 20- to 30-minute shows that Facebook will own outright, and 5- to 10-minute shows that will be owned by the media companies, with Facebook taking a 45 percent cut of the ad revenue. Reuters says Facebook is paying up to $250,000 for the longer shows and up to $35,000 for shorter ones — a relatively small investment in a world where a single episode of Game of Thrones costs more than $10 million.
Vox Media, which owns The Verge, will be a part of the effort, I have confirmed. A Vox spokeswoman declined to comment. Other media companies that have reached deals with Facebook besides BuzzFeed include ATTN and Group Nine Media, which publishes NowThis, Thrillist, and the Dodo, according to Reuters.
Facebook’s push into original video represents an effort to siphon advertising dollars away from the fading institution of television. The company has said it is running out of room to show new ads in the News Feed, putting pressure on Facebook to find profitable new real estate. YouTube recently announced a similar effort with stars including Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, and Ellen Degeneres.