Facebook Inc (FB) just set a price on how much its live video initiatives are worth — $50 million. At least, that’s the sum Zuckerberg & Co. are paying media companies and celebrities to create content for Facebook’s live video feed.
Partners in Facebook’s streaming venture include CNN, the New York Times Co (NYT), Vox Media, the Huffington Post and BuzzFeed, among others. Then there are the celebs, from Kevin Hart to Gordon Ramsay.
In total, Facebook has around 140 media companies and celebrities on its payroll, according to The Wall Street Journal, which averages out to around $357,000 per contract. Averages, however, can be deceiving, as a select few are paid vastly more than others. Buzzfeed, for instance, earns $3.1 million for its live video streaming contributions, while NPR, Vice Media and Tastemade Inc. are paid a million each.
This is just the latest push into video from a social networking company. On Tuesday, Twitter Inc (TWTR) announced “Engage,” a celebrity-oriented insights tool designed to flood Twitter with videos. And Facebook’s own Instagram recently surpassed 500 million monthly users, with 300 million users sharing more than 95 million pictures and videos every day.
Facebook itself receives more than 8 billion video views a day (although that number could be higher now), which Snapchat recently surpassed with daily video traffic of 10 billion. With live streaming, FB hopes to put itself back in the lead.
FB’s potential for monetizing streaming video is enormous, as the market is worth nearly $10 billion in the U.S. Suddenly, $50 million sounds like a paltry sum for the social networking giant, as not only does that hardly crack 7% of the company’s free cash flow, but the increased brand value and potential gold mine of ad revenue more than trumps the bit of spending it takes to get there.
The Facebook stock price today is lurking right around $114.50, up about a tenth of a percent.
As of this writing, John Kilhefner did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.