Facebook to invest $1 billion in original video content for ‘Watch’

Facebook to invest $1 billion in original content for Watch

Just weeks ago, Facebook announced the launch of their video platform Watch. Since then, reports have surfaced that the social media giant is prepared to invest up to $1 billion on original content over the next year.

The large investment will far outpace any of Facebook’s previous video ventures, including the $50 million it shelled out in Facebook Live contracts last year. It will also put Facebook on par with Apple, which also recently committed to investing $1 billion in original series’ over the next year. In comparison, Netflix will spend $7 billion on originals in 2018, and Amazon will spend $4.5 billion by the end of this year.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the $1 billion plan, citing anonymous sources, but also gave the caveat that Facebook’s budget may fluctuate depending on how well their original shows perform.

Mark Zuckerberg has never been shy about his commitment to video, either. “We see a world that is video first, with video at the heart of all of our apps and services,” he said, in a statement last year. “I’ve said before that I see video as a mega trend on the same order as mobile.”

Facebook is also hoping to secure deals with major sports distributors, and with record labels as well. The WSJ reports that Facebook is hoping to “secure rights to music playing in the background of videos users upload,” and is prepared to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for those rights.