Facebook will court 'millennials' with its original videos

BuzzFeed, Vox and others would fuel Facebook's media ambitions.

Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook's dreams of pushing original video shows may be delayed, but that's doing little to stop its ever-growing ambitions. Reuters sources claim that Facebook has landed deals with a slew of "millennial-focused" internet media companies, including BuzzFeed, Vox Media, ATTN and The Dodo operator Group Nine Media. The material would include both short clips under 10 minutes (owned by the individual providers) and longer videos over 20 minutes (owned by Facebook), and they'd naturally have ad breaks. You'd initially find the videos exclusively on Facebook's website and apps, but they'd eventually migrate to other sites.

Not surprisingly, Facebook isn't commenting on the apparent leak.

It doesn't take much divination to understand why Facebook would sign up these brands: if it's going to make a big deal out of original videos, it needs to cater to the audiences that already spend lots of time on its pages. And they may well be receptive, too. Although it's still uncertain just how much money they'll really make (Facebook is reportedly promising a 55 percent share from ads on shorter clips), they may be reassured knowing that they'll make money even if people steal their videos. Whatever short-term uncertainty they face could easily be worthwhile given the many, many potential viewers.