Digiday+ Member Article

Facebook has a new funding program that matches publishers with top influencers for Facebook Watch shows. But Facebook is also being more candid about a future where it’s not subsidizing most Watch programming.

The key hits:

  • A new Facebook Watch program is looking to fund shows made by publishers and starring top influencers.
  • At $200,000 per show (according to one source), it’s not a lot of money for top publishers — but it’s still money.
  • The challenge would be in keeping margins at a level where the publisher is seeing enough revenue after production costs and influencer fees.
  • Facebook, meanwhile, is being more open about how it doesn’t expect its various publisher and creator subsidies to last forever. The long-term plan is that this content can be entirely funded by sharing ad revenue.
  • Evidence is mounting that Facebook is spending less overall on shows made by publishers, with even some news shows getting renewed at a lower budget.
  • Facebook’s shifts have prompted many publishers to not view Facebook as a meaningful source of production and licensing revenues.

Last week, we reported about a new Facebook Watch program under which Facebook would fund video shows produced by publishers and starring top influencers. It’s the latest initiative inside Facebook to get YouTubers and other influencers — and ideally, Facebook users — interested in Facebook Watch.

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