The WSJ reports that Facebook is developing an app for the Apple TV and other set-top boxes, citing sources familiar with the matter. It appears the plan is for the videos to be ad-funded, as with existing Facebook content …
The piece is very light on detail, but the sources say that while Facebook has been considering the move for several years, “it decided back in the summer ‘to make video a top strategic priority.”
Variety noted last year that Facebook was working on bringing exclusive TV programming to its platform, spanning both scripted and unscripted shows. The social media company said then that it wanted to kick-start an ecosystem of video content.
We’re exploring funding some seed video content, including original and licensed scripted, unscripted and sports content, that takes advantage of mobile and the social interaction unique to Facebook. Our goal is to show people what is possible on the platform and learn as we continue to work with video partners around the world.
Facebook made its first move into TV support last October, when it added AirPlay and Chromecast support to allow videos to be streamed to televisions.
The company has seen slowing growth in ad revenue as newsfeed ads reach saturation-point. YouTube-style pre-roll and mid-roll ads in videos would provide the company with a new source of revenue, with TV viewing likely to significantly increase the appeal of the format.