Facebook is developing an app for TV set-top boxes, including Apple TV, which could open up avenues for video content distribution and advertising, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The social networking giant has been increasing its focus on video, launching its Facebook Live streaming service, integrating more videos into Instagram and testing a new video ad product as well as Facebook Stories.
According to the report, it is now in talks with media companies to license long-form, TV-quality programming, including scripted shows and sports, created specifically for the platform. A set-top box app would be an ideal way to push out such content.
After Google, Facebook is the biggest player in digital advertising, but has limited options to grow advertising using the news feed in its core app. It recently began testing ads on Messenger’s home screen.
Advertisers already buy video ads on Facebook, but still spend the bulk of their budgets on TV.
Coupled with the fact that Alphabet and Snapchat are looking to get more video advertising, the reasoning behind Facebook’s latest move becomes apparent.
Facebook is testing mid-roll ads (which play in the middle of videos) and prefers them to pre-roll ones. Mid-roll ads run when users are already engaged with content, rather than before.
In October, Facebook introduced a feature allowing users to stream videos from the Facebook app to their TVs through devices like Apple TV or Chromecast.