Facebook full steam ahead for premium video | Social TV | News | Rapid TV News
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As it reports hugely strong revenue growth in 2016 for its last quarter and full year, social media behemoth Facebook is moving into 2017 with an emphasis on driving more business from video and TV.

facebook 2 feb 2017For the quarter ended 31 December 2016, Facebook posted advertising revenues of $8.629 billion, growing 53% annually, with total revenues of $8.809 billion, up 51% compared with the same period in 2015. This drove net income for the quarter to $3.568 billion, up a staggering 128% annually. For the year, Facebook banked a total of $27.638 billion, growing 54%, with yearly net income up 177% year-on-year to $10.217 billion.

Yet despite these robust yearly figures, what has caught most people’s attention is the continued focus on TV and video. Indeed, on the results’ earnings call to investors and analysts, CEO Mark Zuckerberg began his presentation talking about video, the third quarter in a row he has done so. This time around, Zuckerberg said that going forward into 2017, the biggest change that his company was likely to see was going to be much more video inventory and content coming in as it works through and makes that business model ‘start to really click for a lot of folks’.

The first step in this would be focusing more on shorter form content. “The thesis that we have now is that there are different parts of short-term content,” Zuckerberg remarked. “There is the type of content that people produce socially for friends. There's promotional content that businesses and celebrities and folks will produce. But there's also a whole class of premium content that the creators need to get paid a good amount in order to support the creation of that content and we need to be able to support that with a business model which we're working on through ads to fund that ... Over the longer term, I think as that works people will experiment with longer form of video as well and all kinds of different things.”

To achieve this, Facebook’s goal is to start an ecosystem of partner content in its video tab. It regards such a model as being oriented towards revenue share with creators and is already funding some feed content to get the ecosystem going.

“For the video tab, the goal that we have for the product experience is to make it so that when people want to watch videos, when they want to keep up-to-date on what's going on with their favourite show or what's going on with a public figure that they want to follow, that they can come to Facebook and go to a place knowing that that's going to show them all the content that they're interested in,” Zuckerberg added. “That's a pretty different intent than how people come to Facebook today.”

Reports in leading US media are already suggesting that Facebook will be launching a video-centric app for television set-top boxes.