Facebook is working on a video-focused app for set-top TV boxes such as the Apple TV, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
The app is just one of several projects to make Facebook a "video-first" company, as it looks to enter the realm of TV advertising dollars.
Facebook To Soon Release App For Set-Top TV Boxes
The app that Facebook is developing for set-top TV boxes was revealed to the Wall Street Journal by sources familiar with the matter. The app will feature video content from Facebook, and will also serve as a new vehicle for the company's video advertising push.
Facebook has been playing up its live streaming feature named Facebook Live, testing new video advertising products, and expanding the integration of videos into photo-sharing platform Instagram. An app for set-top TV boxes, however, will further bring the company closer to live video content and earning from the advertisements that will likely come with these videos.
Facebook is looking to increase the number of advertisers that are purchasing spots for video advertisements on the social media platform. Video advertisements come with higher prices compared to picture or text advertisements, and so more advertisers going with video would continue the growth of Facebook's revenue.
Facebook Looks To License TV Programs
According to the same Wall Street Journal report, Facebook is also holding discussions with various media companies on the possible licensing of long-form TV-quality programs, sources familiar with the talks revealed. If Facebook would release an app for set-top TV boxes, it would be a likely channel for such premium content, as it would enable them to be accessed naturally through the TVs of users.
The programs will be created in exchange for a licensing fee. Facebook will then sell advertisements that will run alongside the shows, which will have lengths of up to 10 minutes each and include scripted and sports programs.
This is the same path that Apple is taking, as it is now looking to expand its Apple Music service by offering original TV shows and movies.
The programs that Facebook is looking to license will be an additional form of content compared to the live streaming video that is becoming popular among various platforms. Companies have been in competition to be able to stream popular events and exclusive content, and so original programs on the upcoming set-top TV box app by Facebook will be another way for the company to earn its advertising dollars.
Facebook Looking For More Ad Space
Facebook is the second-biggest company in digital advertising, behind Alphabet's Google. However, the company said that its main source of advertising, the news feed, was running out of space to include more advertisements.
Facebook executives warned that revenue growth will significantly decline beginning in the middle of 2017 because of the lack of space to include more advertisements in the social network. However, if Facebook would succeed in tapping the lucrative TV advertising market through its set-top TV box app and licensed programs, the company will likely overcome the growth plateau that it has now encountered.