Facebook Kills off Paying Publishers for Video Content

The social network doesn’t like the “pivot to video,” either

Facebook wants publishers to post video, but it doesn’t want to pay for it anymore.

The social network will stop paying publishers to produce on-demand and “Facebook Live” content by the end of the year, according to a new report from Digiday. Some 300 outlets, celebs, and “other video creators” won’t have their deals renewed, with Facebook’s focus shifting to Watch, its recently launched originals platform.

Facebook did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

After launching Live in 2015, Facebook quickly moved to make it a go-to destination for video, paying A-listers and publishers millions to post videos. BuzzFeed, CNN, and the New York Times all received more than $2.5 million to produce content, according to the Wall Street Journal. Kevin Hart and Michael Phelps also received a Facebook paycheck to make videos.

For publishers to get paid, on-demand clips had to hit 90 seconds, and Live videos had to reach six minutes, as part of the deals. But as Live failed to gain traction, Facebook asked publishers to place an emphasis on on-demand content in the last year, according to Digiday.

The decision to stop paying outlets has publishers reconsidering their relationship with Facebook.

“We’re going to be significantly scaling back the amount of native videos we publish to Facebook and look elsewhere,” said one publishing exec to Digiday. “If they came back to us six months from now and offered to pay for another type of program, I’m not sure we’d go back because none of it has worked.”