If you are on Facebook a lot, you must have come across a live streaming event on Facebook. They are becoming a big part of the Facebook culture since Facebook Live was launched at the beginning of the year.
Facebook Live owes some of its popularity to the simple fact that Facebook used their financial muscles to encourage A list stars and popular media houses to use the feature on Facebook. They did this by paying them money show live videos on Facebook or embedded in their websites.
The net effect is that the feature, which was a copy of Twitter’s Periscope, is now being used by many for many popular events without Facebook paying a cent for this. A good example was Wayne Rooney’s testimonial at Old Trafford which was beamed live on Facebook.
Even some parts of the last Oscars were featured on Facebook Live.
Up to his point, watching live streaming videos have largely being uninterrupted by ads. But Facebook is about to change all that by introducing ads in live broadcasts.
Though some Live broadcasters have started making some money from their Live streams, the new policy by Facebook would make it official and would appear in the most popular videos. That is, even if the owners of the live videos don’t solicit for them, the ads would appear.
The aim of course is to generate revenue. This was expected to happen sooner or later, because live videos is a gold mine everybody expects a company like Facebook to exploit.
Facebook confirmed this fact to Adage in an email:
“We’re running a small test where a group of publishers have the option to insert a short ad break in their Facebook Live videos,”
Facebook Live Head Of Products, Fidji Simo, actually gave a hint of the coming of adverts at a forum back in June where he said, among other things, that:
What you can expect us to do over the next couple months is experiment with a lot of different models that are going to be appropriate for certain creators for certain kinds of formats and try to figure out what works, but really explore a variety of things,
“Live videos tend to run longer. It’s actually not unusual for people to broadcast live for longer than an hour. So you can easily imagine that an ad break in the middle of a live video could work well in that context.”
For ads on Facebook Live, the question was were to place the ads. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook was strongly of the view that ads at the beginning of live streams would spoil the viewing experience for viewers.
It was finally settled at 15 seconds of ads midway into the live feed. It could be less than 15 seconds though. But never more than that.
Since the ads are in the testing phase, revenues from the ads would not be shared with broadcasters. Though this is likely to change sometime in the future. That is, if the live ads are retained as part of Facebook Live.
However all the ads revenue would be shared between Facebook and top live video producers. This are people and firms whose feeds already attract huge amount of viewers and are already making money from Facebook Live.
It was well known that all those updates and new features added to Facebook Live since it was launched would not be for nothing. I’d always felt they were just testing the features before unleashing their final plan for Facebook Live; which is how to leverage the over 1.5 billion users of Facebook to entice online ads company.
Facebook Live ads is going to explode the revenue of Facebook in a very positive way. With ads on Facebook Live, Google now have a serious challenge to their money spinning YouTube.
image credit: tubefilter.com; 3vbiz.com; marketingland.com; adage.com