Video Publishers Sour on Facebook Watch: New Content ‘Mathematically Is Not Justifiable’

The video platform continues to be a hit or miss for publishers looking to drive revenue

Nearly two years and a billion dollars after the launch of Facebook Watch, video publishers say the platform is still struggling to shift the viewing habits of its online community, while ad revenue continues to be a hit or miss.

In interviews with seven publishers with experience on Facebook Watch, only one reported having substantial success on the platform. Most said the modest ad revenue produced hasn’t justified further investment in the platform — despite videos racking up millions of views. Four out of the seven producers, who all at one time produced Facebook-funded shows, say they are no longer investing in exclusive content for the platform.

The company spent an estimated $1 billion in 2018 to fund a diverse slate of shows with just as diverse formats. To date, it has launched scripted shows, unscripted shows, interactive game shows, talk shows, a slate of news programming, long-form content, short-form content and traditional reality series like MTV’s “The Real World.”

Facebook has also started to bring full-length TV series like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “The Real World” to its platform and continues to starry…

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