Facebook’s video-subscription test is meant to springboard off Watch, the free, ad-supported episodic platform it originally launched two years ago. Watch had 140 million daily users worldwide as of June, with thousands of shows including Facebook-funded originals like Jada Pinkett Smith’s “Red Table Talk” and a reboot of MTV’s “The Real World.”
Part of the theory behind Facebook’s SVOD test is that subscription services with strong fan communities will be able to take advantage of social features to drive engagement. Subscribers will be able to join discussion groups to talk about recent episodes and participate in Facebook’s Watch Parties, which let multiple users watch videos concurrently and chat in real-time.
Tastemade has nearly 31 million followers on its main Facebook page, while IAC’s College Humor has more than 9 million fans and MotorTrend has more than 3 million fans (and its popular show “Roadkill” counts nearly 1.5 million). BritBox has the smallest fanbase of the group with fewer than 200,000 followers.
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