It appears that Fox’s decision to debut new series Outcast on Facebook Live ahead of its TV launch paid significant dividends in terms of social interaction.
According to Mobile Marketer, Fox Network Group’s social media groups saw a lot more interactions because of the debut. The report says Fox saw a 250 percent increase in interactions between consumers and Fox-owned Facebook pages and also a 320 percent increase in positive sentiment and brand awareness on its Fox UK Facebook page.
In addition, Fox was able to generate a lot of useful viewer data from the experiment, gaining a lot of demographic information about Outcast viewers.
Fox announced its plans to use Facebook Live back in May. Outcast was seen on the social media platform in 61 countries including the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Turkey and South Africa.
Fox’s experiment came after other networks like E! have launched similar initiatives around Facebook’s live broadcasting function, which was added in late 2015. President-elect Donald Trump also used the platform to feature live coverage of the final debate.
To date, though, Facebook Live has proved somewhat difficult for video creators to monetize because of its sponsorship model, which differs from the ad revenue sharing model used by services like YouTube.
BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield pointed out how Facebook benefits from more ad impressions when videos gain traction within the newsfeed while popular creators like Discovery’s NowThis don’t see much benefit.
“But NowThis is making nothing on it,” wrote Greenfield. “It is hard to believe this is sustainable for content creators. Given how short the video was, is pre-roll or mid-roll really tenable? Or does Facebook simply need to find a way to pay content creators who post on their platforms?”
However, that relationship between TV programmers and Facebook Live could end up being more mutually beneficial.
"Television is all about a relationship between the content provider and the audience. This is true, regardless of whether or not the content is supported by advertising," said Joel Espelien, analyst with The Diffusion Group, in a post. "The challenge to date, of course, has been that television has no way to monetize social networks. To the extent legacy TV providers can sell nonexclusive live streaming rights to particular events or shows to Facebook and Twitter, they may be able to kill three birds with one stone."