How much Facebook is paying some publishers to use Facebook Live


How much Facebook is paying some publishers to use Facebook Live

Excluding perhaps illegal live streams of The Simpsons, Facebook’s new live video platform hasn’t made much sense.

While it’s likely an attempt to increase the amount of time each user spends on the platform, so far Facebook Live has just felt counter to the mobile-friendly ambitions of News Feed.

Sites like Vox Media’s The Verge, who previously sent short, snappy videos to Facebook and YouTube, now stream long, and frankly strange discussions and gadget first-looks.

Vox Media isn’t alone though in their ramp-up of live video. The Facebook News Feed is now clogged with a dizzying array of equally unnecessarily long live streams. Users often also get notified when a publisher has gone live. Buzzfeed saw 10.8 million people watch a stream where they blew up a watermelon, for instance. Keep in mind that Facebook’s view count can behave like a broken Fitbit and over-count people just glancing at videos.

Meanwhile Gawker, who have said that they are being paid an undisclosed sum of money to stream ‘anything’ live on Facebook, have even started to just troll the platform:

Although they still have some decent streams:

Until now though we haven’t known any specifics about how much each publisher was being paid, apart from the occasional disclaimer. But today we now know the top 3 contracts.

According to their story, Facebook has around 140 contracts with publishers and celebrities, adding up to $50 million in spending.

They’re paying Buzzfeed US$3.5 million a year, trailed by The New York Times at US$3.03 million, and CNN at US$2.5 million.

The Journal also says they have a document with more numbers:

But the document reviewed by the Journal is the most comprehensive list so far of participating content providers and their specific financial dealings with Facebook.

But the real issue is that Facebook hasn’t yet figured out a way to actually give publishers clean money through ads or the like, and their river of gold likely won’t last forever. The question now is whether publishers will continue to stream in a world where Facebook stops paying upfront, or whether Facebook will just continue to pay only the biggest publishers.

We also now know that Live isn’t w success story just yet, and without cash, it would’ve likely been ignored.

Would love to see that full document btw.