Facebook is intensifying its quest for original TV-like content.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the social media company is focusing on soliciting 30-minute series based around sports, science, pop culture, lifestyle, gaming and teens.
Facebook is reportedly looking to pay for shows and is planning to offer a “premium digital rate” for scripted content, or about low- to mid-six figures per episode, according to the report.
Facebook’s pursuit of scripted content marks somewhat of a shift away from the company’s previous attempts to boost original videos on its platform.
Last year, Facebook paid out more than $50 million to companies like Vox Media, Tastemade, Mashable and the Huffington Post, as well as to celebrities including Kevin Hart and Russell Wilson, to get them to create original videos for the platform.
Facebook could potentially exercise more control over what types of content it brings to its platform. If the new premium digital rates Facebook is reportedly offering are accurate, and if Facebook continues to go after live sports—the company is reportedly looking into a deal with the MLB to stream live games—then Facebook’s content budget will balloon well past $50 million.
Facebook’s content strategy is being led by Ricky Van Veen, whom the company recently hired away from CollegeHumor.
Van Veen, Facebook’s head of global creative strategy, 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.
While Facebook works to build its portfolio of original video content, it is also seeking to expand distribution for its video efforts. The company recently released dedicated video apps for streaming platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung smart TVs.