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Facebook to Pay as Much as $250,000 Per Episode for Originals (Report)

Variety logo Variety 5/24/2017 Janko Roettgers
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Facebook is prepared to pay as much as $250,000 per episode for its planned original video initiative, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the project. The company also plans to license shorter-form content for $10,000 to $35,000 an episode, and has signed on Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN, and Group Nine Media to produce videos.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg first started publicly talking about spending money on what he called “anchor content” for Facebook’s video tab during the company’s most recent earnings call earlier this month. During that same call, Facebook CFO David Wehner said that the company was looking at “kickstarting an ecosystem for longer-form content on Facebook” with upfront investments.

Soon after, Business Insider reported that Facebook had signed up Conde Nast to produce some of its originals. Titles in production reportedly included a VR dating show and other shows involving A-list celebrities. Facebook was looking to unveil a first slate of content at the Cannes Lions advertising festival in June, according to Business Insider.

Wednesday’s report confirmed that Facebook is essentially looking at two tiers of programming: Longer-form originals which it wants to own outright, and shorter shows running five to 10 minutes that it may license on a windowed basis.

Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday, but previously declined to comment on the topic.

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