Earlier this year, Facebook went all in on Live Video, placing it in a place of prominence in its app as well as promoting it rather heavily on the web. Now it appears that the company is even going so far as paying media companies and celebrities millions of dollars to create live-streaming content. According to a document received by the Wall Street Journal, almost 140 contracts totaling more than $50 million have already been signed.
Some of the media outlets include CNN, the New York Times, Vox Media, Tastemade, Mashable and the Huffington Post, while celebrities include Kevin Hart, Gordon Ramsay, Deepak Chopra and Russell Wilson. BuzzFeed is the highest-paid publisher on the list, and will apparently receive $3.05 million for its Facebook Live content between March 2016 and March 2017. Right up there is the New York Times, which is slated to receive $3.03 million for its live video efforts.
All of this Live Video focus is paying off too. BuzzFeed's 45-minute video of two employees putting rubber bands around a watermelon until it exploded was viewed 10.8 million times as of today. But that is nowhere close to the video of Candace Payne trying on a Chewbacca mask -- that infamous video has now been viewed over 157 million times.