Joe Flint and Deepa Seetharaman:
Facebook enters a bustling TV scene where old and new players are creating a staggering amount of original programming, making it hard for even good shows to break through. Last year there were more than 455 scripted shows on TV.
Compared with digital players such as Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Hulu, which have been in TV for years now and have well-stocked pipelines of original programming, Facebook is late to the game. Apple Inc. is also hunting for original TV programming and just hired two top executives from Sony Corp.’s TV studio.
455 scripted shows. Just as with "app inundation" (or, six years ago, the "app wall") we're at the point where the limiting factor is not the quality of television, but simply the time to watch all the great content.
In another move that will distinguish it from Netflix and Amazon, Facebook is also telling Hollywood it will share viewership data with them.
“Facebook is saying, ‘We’re going to be completely transparent,’ ” one agent said. “ ‘You’ll share in our ad dollars, our profits will be your profits, you will get all the data.’ It’s a humongously different mind-set.”
Sure, just trust Facebook. This always works well. Also, they of course have to do this, being so late to the game. Still, it's shocking they're reported to be okay with shows costing as much as $3 million an episode.Read more...