Facebook says more than 50 million US users spend at least a minute monthly on Watch. It also claims that total view times on its dedicated video platform has increased 14 times since the start of 2018.
The social network has promoted Facebook Watch in News Feed prompts and several other ways. It also has more than 241 million monthly active users in North America. Given those facts, 50 million monthly viewers of at least one minute on Watch is not yet convincing.
It seems people still want video content within their interests. For Facebook to lure more audiences, it needs video with a wider appeal.
And the company got what it wanted. TechCrunch reported on Wednesday that Facebook bought the rights to “The Real World.”
The reality TV show first aired 26 years ago on MTV and has been a hit, running for 32 seasons and counting. The audience may have dropped recently, but it still is an international winner.
The report said Facebook signed the rights for three single-season runs of 12 episodes each. The seasons are localized for three countries: the U.S., Mexico and Thailand.
TechCrunch noted that fans have a chance to vote who will join as the final cast member. They can also connect with housemates via Facebook Watch Party chat rooms.
Facebook is also reportedly working on live game shows for Watch. Users can join via the app.
Apart from those, Facebook has a “World’s Most Amazing Dog” show in the works.
This approach has gaps. We have no data showing that people want more active participation in the TV content they consume.
People want to discuss or comment on the TV shows they watch. It does not mean they want to join in real-time. If proven, this investment may not unlock the full potential of Facebook Watch as the video platform of choice.
Yet, Facebook has the number of users, and is more fit to follow trends with its insights. It is vying for interaction, rather than content. It already trails YouTube, Netflix and Amazon on content.
If Facebook digs deeper into its pocket, it has the means to buy a big show. If it can lure viewers and showcase Watch, it can promote more investments and more shows.
Facebook can still stay with the pack, and continue to take more shares from the estimated $70 billion per year of TV ad spend until 2020.