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Facebook Watch rolls out globally, gives publishers one stat to track weekly viewership



Facebook Watch
Facebook is opening up
Watch to all users.

Samantha Lee /
Business Insider

  • Facebook is expanding Watch globally and letting
    international publishers earn money from their videos, starting
    with the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia.
  • Publishers are also getting their hands on a new metric
    called user retention, which tracks how many viewers watch
    a publisher’s videos week after week on the platform.
  • Facebook is clearly betting that people will repeatedly
    watch videos on its platform

Facebook is making a bigger bet on Watch and plans to crank up
the number of ads that appear in videos.

On Wednesday, the social network rolled out Watch globally. Up
until now, Facebook tested Watch in the US only as
part of a bigger bet
to enlist creators and publishers to
make content that consumers will habitually watch on the

As part of the expansion, publishers can now access a hub called
Creator Studio, which allows them to manage their video inventory
and access analytics about their videos, including a new metric
that specifically measures audience retention.

Watch has
slowly evolved in the US over the past few months
to include
more videos from Pages that are monetized through mid-roll and
pre-roll ads. While ad loads are small, some publishers are
starting to see revenue potential in Watch, especially with the
ability to sell their own inventory.

According to Facebook, 50 million people in the US visit the
Watch tab every month to watch videos for at least one minute.

“It’s not an insane ad load to where it would drive users away,
but if you’ve watched two or three minutes of video, we hope in
the Watch environment that you’re going to stay on what’s next,”
Ken Blom, VP of branded distribution at BuzzFeed, told Business
Insider recently. “Facebook will talk about ‘intentionality’ as
the metric that they think about for Watch.”

Facebook is taking the same approach internationally

Similar to the gradual rollout in the US, videos from any
international Pages are now eligible to show up in Watch,
regardless of whether it’s a show or a video clip.

Creators in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia can set
up ad breaks to make money off of their videos. The international
ad break program will expand to 21 additional countries and
languages in September including Argentina, France, Spain,
Thailand, and Peru.

Facebook claims that 70% of mid-roll ads are viewed to completion
and offers publishers an auto-insertion tool that can
automatically detect the best place to plug an ad into a video
Publishers can also control ad breaks manually. Creators keep 55%
of ad revenue while Facebook keeps the other 45%.

To be eligible for ad breaks, publishers need to create
three-minute videos that have collectively racked up 30,000
one-minute views over the past two months. They also need to have
Pages with
at least 10,000 followers.

Within Creator Studio, publishers can see stats like:

  • Watch time and view counts.
  • How many people have followed or unfollowed a
  • A metric called user retention, which tracks how many
    viewers watch a publisher’s videos week after week.
  • Video completion rates.

The Facebook Watch


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