Netflix has the kind of content deals Facebook needs to truly make its mark in video.
I have been watching with amusement Twitter’s push to provide video feeds of things like NFL games and other special events. Personally, I’d never consider watching the game, or any other significant TV event, on a social media app.
But this type of TV-social media integration might be hard to avoid. During a recent earnings call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his goal with the platform is to provide a place “that’s going to show [users] all the content that they’re interested in,” including video.
Sources tell me Facebook has a video app in the works for Apple TV and other set-top boxes, something the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month, too. What’s interesting is that since Facebook has 1.5 billion users, it could become the Web’s primary video provider. If one believes that the current broadcast and cable TV model is nearing extinction, Zuckerberg’s play to develop a dedicated Facebook streaming media delivery platform is intriguing.
However, the operative word for this strategy is content. Yes, Facebook could find a way to be a content aggregator but it would also need to have a broad range of content, obtained through licensing deals and created in-house. Perhaps buying Netflix would not be a stretch to help Zuckerberg jumpstart this strategy. Netflix has expanded to dozens of countries already and has the kind of content deals Facebook can only dream of.
Ultimately, I think this strategy plays well within Facebook’s broader vision. It could also give Facebook’s VR ambitions a boost, as Netflix viewers strap on Oculus Rift headsets to binge watch in virtual living rooms with friends. One could see how this would be an attractive proposition to help Facebook grow and keep more people on its platform for longer periods of time. And Facebook could then serve them more ads, of course.