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Today, Facebook announced more information about their new original programming, which will start airing on their Watch platform.

After months of speculation about the social network commissioning original content and making deals for exclusive broadcasts, Facebook rolled out their new Watch section earlier this month, starting with a small group of US users.

Now, it's been announced that several new Facebook-exclusive programs will be made available shortly, including Business Insider’s ‘The Great Cheese Hunt’, Attn’s ‘Health Hacks’ (fronted by Jessica Alba), Hearst’s ‘’Wiki What?’ (in which celebrities review their own Wikipedia pages) and ‘Ball in the Family’, a new reality show focused on the life of the family of Lakers player, Lonzo Ball.

These are just some of the many shows coming to Facebook, which, as explained by Digiday, will come in the form of short, ‘snackable’ style programming.

“Most of the shows Facebook is funding are described as “spotlight shows,” with most episode lengths between four and 10 minutes. Facebook’s paying $10,000 to $40,000 per episode for these types of shows.”

It makes perfect sense that Facebook would enter the entertainment arena to compete with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and others, particularly in light of declining rates of TV viewership. In fact, YouTube already made a big announcement on their own original programming in May.

Watch is Facebook’s big foray into original programming, based on the rising trend of more people consuming video content online - and in particular - on mobile devices, and Facebook is clearly hoping to tap into those TV ad dollars by building their own alternative platform. With the social network's audience size and scale and ability to hyper-target promoted posts, it has a significant attention advantage, which could position it to win out, particularly if it can get its content mix right.

So what does this mean for brands?

More opportunity for promoted content and product placement and even opportunities for branded entertainment. In fact, 61% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that delivers custom content. And the only thing people love more than custom content from brands? Entertainment.

I'd recommend you start exploring ways to create original programming around your brand to run on any of these emerging platforms. It can be a terrific way to control your message and show your products and services in action.

Let me know what you think and as usual, if you have any questions, please email me.

#SocialMedia #StreamingVideo #ContentCreation

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