Facebook reportedly building video app for Apple TV

Facebook is headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif.
Plans for an app for streaming devices have been on Facebook's drawing board for years, The Wall Street Journal reported. Image: Facebook

Facebook is reportedly taking another step into the content world by prepping a dedicated video app for Apple TV.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the app is part of an overarching strategy to change Facebook into a video first company, in an effort to snag more ad dollars away from traditional TV.

The report said that Facebook has had a streaming device app on the drawing board for years but last year accelerated the plans to coincide with the company’s more urgent plans around video.

Advertising firms have predicted that digital ads will outpace TV ad spending for the first time in 2017. According to IPG Mediabrands' Magna, digital-based ad sales will claim a 40% market share this year, good for $202 billion worldwide.

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The concerted push into video comes as Facebook is scrambling to find more spots to place ads and continue its ad revenue growth trend. According to Recode, in an effort to prove the platform can earn ad dollars outside of the lucrative Newsfeed, Facebook is testing mid-roll video ads, Messenger ads, ads inside Instagram stories and branded selfie ads.

Part of Facebook’s plan to lure more advertising money toward its video content will be to invest more for content, including licensing shows from TV studios.

Ricky Van Veen, head of global creative strategy at Facebook, told Recode that Facebook is looking at putting more money into growing its content.

“Earlier this year, we started rolling out the Video tab, a dedicated place for video on Facebook. Our goal is to kickstart an ecosystem of partner content for the tab, so we're exploring funding some seed video content, including original and licensed scripted, unscripted, and sports content, that takes advantage of mobile and the social interaction unique to Facebook. Our goal is to show people what is possible on the platform and learn as we continue to work with video partners around the world,” said Van Veen in a statement provided to the publication.

Facebook has already been putting a lot of effort into marketing its platform as a video hub. The company has launched a national marketing campaign around its Facebook Live feature. Earlier this year, Facebook spent more than $50 million to have companies like Vox Media and Tastemade create original videos for the platform.