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TBI Weekly: Will Facebook Watch make an impact?

This week, there has been a lot of buzz around the global rollout of Facebook Watch, but it has been accompanied by cynicism over the potential of its success.

Although Facebook execs were keen to explain how well the service has performed in the US, its beta testing territory, so far many have been quick to question the real value of the service.

The US has so far received 50 million viewers per month for at least a minute and time spent on the platform has increased 14 times since the start of 2018, according to Fidji Simo, Facebook’s head of video.

Popular titles such as Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk have also received an avid following, in this case amassing 2.9 million viewers since its May launch, according to Simo.

Despite these claims, many are skeptical about whether Facebook will be able to get viewers interested in the product.

Recent dipping user numbers, particularly among younger age groups, has left people wondering whether the brand has enough power to create a hub for content that draws in the millions.

A recent study by The Diffusion Group (TDG) has shown that in the US, awareness of Facebook’s ‘Watch’ tab was surprisingly low.

Out of 1,632 adult Facebook users, 50% had said that they have never even heard if Facebook Watch, with 24% saying they have heard of it but never used it. Only 6% said they use the service daily.

Sam Barcroft, CEO at factual content company Barcroft TV, is one recent user of the service. But he says he’s only seen positive results.

He recently tweeted: “Facebook Watch is transforming our reach at Barcroft TV, with over 512 million video views and +2 million new followers across our 15 shows in July alone.”

Also in the news…

Wiggleywoo’s kids title The Day Henry Met… has sold to the UK’s pre-school block Milkshake! as well as 17 other channels and platforms

The Cartel is expanding its footprint in North America by launching Cartel Pictures Canada, to bolster the company’s independent TV production business in Winnipeg

Canada’s Bravo is set to premiere Chris Noth-Lead procedural drama Gone to a North American audience on September 16

HBO Canada is set to premiere 9/11 doc You Are Here: A Come From Away Story, focusing on the impact of the terrorist attack

London Entertainment and Fulwell 73 are set to release After The Screaming Stops, a music doc based on 80s boyband Bros

The week’s top TBI stories…