Facebook Developing Video App for Apple TV 4 and More: WSJ

The Facebook may be coming to your fourth-generation Apple TV, in the form of a new video app, reports the Wall Street Journal:

The social network is developing a video-centric app for television set-top boxes, including Apple Inc.’s Apple TV, people familiar with the matter said, giving it a home for video content—as well as a new vehicle for video advertising.

The goal of the app is to make part of Facebook a “video-first” company, to rival television ad dollars. Recently, Facebook Live, along with live videos in Instagram have debuted as a test of the company’s live stream capabilities.

Ads would be in the form of “mid-roll” ads, favoured ahead of pre-roll ads which is popular on YouTube. “If there’s good video content, you’ll actually watch a couple thirty-second video ads,” said one person familiar with the matter.

Sources said Facebook is in talks with media companies to license traditional TV programming, which would then be viewable on the company’s TV app made for various set-top boxes, an easy way for distribution. Media companies are in talks with Facebook to product “TV-like” content up to 10 minutes in length, such as scripted shows, sports and entertainment, cite unnamed sources.

Digital advertising is led by Google, with Facebook in second place. The social network said last November their News Feed was running out of space to implement new ads, which executives said will affect their growth.

Thomson Reuters expects Facebook’s Q4 earnings, set to be released Wednesday, to see revenue jump 46% to $8.5 billion, which would represent the slowest growth in five quarters.

Back in October, Facebook rolled out video streaming to Apple TV, making it easy for users to stream existing videos from their iPhone to the big screen. Last November, Recode reported Facebook was planning to deliver video ads to Apple TV.

As more and more users turn their viewing habits away from traditional television, the race is on to monetize where eyeballs are going, such as mobile and set-top boxes.