The collaborations see digital publishers match up with Facebook influencers to create shows for Watch, the social media giant’s video-first destination. Facebook funds the show and has a window of exclusivity before the publisher can then exploit it on other platforms. Publishers have creative control, Facebook added.
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After testing in the U.S. in spring – giving rise to shows like Players’ Tribune’s Generations featuring US soccer hero Megan Rapinoe – Facebook is now launching the project in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, with 23 shows going live over the next couple of months.
Facebook announced them all on Tuesday and they included three shows each from viral site LadBible and soccer website Copa90 in the UK, as well as one from lifestyle brand Tastemade. Here are some examples:
Matchday Meals, made by Copa90: Adam Richman, the star of Travel Channel’s Man v. Food, explores the coolest places to eat near soccer stadiums around the world. 8-minute episodes, weekly.
Beasted, made by LadBible: former world’s strongest man winner Eddie Hall will take an average man and put him through strongest man training in a makeover challenge. 6-8 minute episodes, weekly.
Date Fails, made by Tastemade: the dating-meets-cooking format will be hosted by pop singer Conor Maynard, helping people find love through food. 4-6 minute episodes, weekly.
The Edge, made by Copa90: an educational and nutritional format starring Lisa Zimouche, who is known as soccer freestyler Lisa Freestyle. 7-minute episodes, weekly.
Beyond the UK, Facebook is partnering with Burda in Germany, Brut in France, Ciaopeople in Italy and Spain’s 2bTube on a variety of comedy, interview and reality formats.
Lucy Skinner, Facebook’s strategic partner manager for entertainment and creators, said each of the Watch show hosts “are really established on Facebook and connected to their community.”
Facebook’s head of content strategy Matthew Henick said the publisher partnership project feeds into its strategy to build a “large ad-supported platform” with Watch. He added that Watch is now viewed by 720M a month, with “people really coming for a video experience.”
“We want Watch to be a place where anyone, anywhere, can find the videos they care about. And as video continues to find prominence on social media, we want to further our work with publishers and help them reach more people, engage their audiences more deeply, and build sustainable businesses,” Henick said.