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Facebook strikes exclusive deals with original video creators in India

Social networking giant Facebook is reportedly making an aggressive bid to lure video creators, actors and top artists in India, striking exclusive deals to have first dibs at video content.

Social networking giant Facebook is reportedly making an aggressive bid to lure video creators, actors and top artists in India, striking exclusive deals to have first dibs at video content.

The company has been offering free advertising credits to content creators in exchange for exclusivity, reports the Economic Times, citing sources. It asks for 48-72 hour exclusivity before it is uploaded on other platforms like YouTube.

“Facebook has become very active with content creators lately but it might take a while for them to catch up to YouTube,” Subrat Kar, co-founder & CEO of video analytics startup Vidooly, whose service is used by over 1,000 You-Tube channel owners, told the Economic Times.

And the idea seems to be catching on. For instance, on his birthday in January, AR Rahman hosted an exclusive live chat on Facebook, which was put up on his YouTube channel later. Star recently uploaded the preview of one of its biggest shows, Nach Baliye, on Facebook, two days before airing on TV, a Facebook spokesperson told the Economic Times.

“It’s a pretty well-planned approach to start seeding its native platform among the creator community,”Samir Bangara, co-founder & CEO of Qyuki, a Mumbai-based multi-channel network, was quoted in the report as saying. 

According to the report, multi-channel networks help creators with programming, distribution and rights management in return for a cut of the revenue from the content.

With rapidly growing smartphone and Internet penetration, India has become a large market for video consumption. Internet video traffic in India is expected to grow nine-fold between 2013 and 2018, according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI). 

Internet video traffic will reach 2.2 exabytes per month in 2018 or 72% of all Internet traffic in India, according to the Cisco report. “In terms of views, Facebook has caught up massively to YouTube. But there are many pieces in the puzzle that need to fall in place for Facebook,” Bangara was quoted in the report as saying.”YouTube’s creator ecosystem is years ahead of Facebook though,” Bangara added in the report. 

Nearly a dozen multi-channel networks including Culture Machine, Qyuki and Ping Digital are also looking to tap into this growing space. These networks distribute content through platforms like YouTube or Vimeo and social networks. As of March 2015, Facebook had 125 million monthly active users and 53 million daily active users on mobile. 

“Over time, the relevance of YouTube videos on Facebook has also been pushed down and you’d see more Facebook native videos pop up prominently,”Bangara was quoted in the report as saying. The size of native Facebook video, for instance, is 12 times bigger than a YouTube video.

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