Facebook testing revenue split with video contributors

Under the plan, 55% of revenues will be shared among contributors based on time spent on each video

Facebook has confirmed plans to offer video contributors a share of advertising revenues generated around posts, in a move that will increase competition with Google's YouTube.

To encourage content producers to partner with Facebook around engaging and quality video content, 55% of all revenue from ads in the suggested videos feed will be shared among contributors, based on the amount of time spent with each film.

The revenue-sharing initiative is part of Facebook's new suggested-video service, designed to increase amplification in the fast-growing mobile, video space.

It means when users tap on a video in their News Feed, they could see additional film suggestions below it.

The videos (which will automatically start playing as users scroll) will be related to the one being watched. They may include videos on the same topic or from similar publishers.

A Facebook spokesperson said the suggested-videos feature "helps people discover more videos similar to the ones they enjoy.

"Within suggested videos, we are running a monetization test where we will show feed-style video ads and share revenue with a group of media companies and video creators."

As with all of Facebook's initiatives, the suggested video service is being trialed among a select group of media partners in the US — including NBA, Hearst and Fox Sports.

During the first phase of the test, while the service is refined, Facebook will not be generating any revenue for Facebook or its partners.

When it comes to video, Facebook’s main differentiator, according to regional director Steve Hatch, is the platform's ability to tap into the "seismic shift in video viewing" with the rise of mobile, which means that people are moving "beyond executional search [as used for YouTube] to pure discovery" — meaning in-feed and shared.  

The 55% revenue split, with the remaining 45% staying with the platform, is the same deal media companies are offered by YouTube.

Speaking to Campaign last week, Derek Scobie, the head of YouTube propositions for Northern and Central Europe at Google, said: "We welcome competition, we always have done, because it drives innovation. We have some of the best engineers in the world but even the best engineers in the world need to be challenged to make sure they deliver the very best experiences."

He added: "There’s a difference between being a platform that now allows some video to run on it and being a platform that is a native video platform that people come to for the creation and consumption of video.

"The experience on YouTube is [solely] video, and I think that will lead to dramatic differences in terms of engagement and brand impact."

This article first appeared on campaignlive.co.uk.

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