It was only a matter of time before Facebook figured out a way to make money from the videos that are played on their platform. As Fortune points out, before now, video creators didn’t have a way to make money on the Facebook platform. That all changes today, with Facebook’s new plan to monetize videos and share the revenue with creators. The revenue arrangement is the same as YouTube’s: 55 percent of the money earned from ads goes to the creator, and 45 percent goes to Facebook. So far, the program has a couple of dozen partners who have signed up, including the NBA, Fox Sports, Hearst, and Funny or Die.
Prior to the new plan, Feed videos would only play mutely until the user clicked on them. Now, when users play a video on mobile, they will get a feed of “Suggested Videos.” It’s not until a few of these videos play, that the user will see an actual ad. And these ads, unlike Facebook’s autoplay videos, will play with the sound turned on.
In the past few weeks, the social media giant has tested the “Suggested Videos” product with a small number of iOS users. Today the test goes wider, and will eventually expand to include Android and desktop users.
Unlike YouTube, which gives content creators 55 percent of the revenue from the ads it plays before videos, Facebook will divvy up the 55 percent in revenue among multiple creators or partners. For example, if you watched a three-minute video from the NBA, and a two-minute video from Funny or Die, the 55 percent in ad revenue would be split proportionately between the NBA and Funny or Die.
Industry experts fully expect video—especially mobile video—to be a major source of revenue for Facebook in the future since users already deliver four billion videos views daily. The company made $3.3 billion in ad revenue in the first quarter of 2015, 73 percent of it from mobile ads alone. For now, Facebook says it is focused on shorter video formats, not long-form video formats like TV shows and movies.
To date, YouTube has been the only major player in user-posted video, but Facebook is stepping up its game. It just announced to advertisers the option to pay for video ads only after a video has played for 10 seconds. It’s a response to announcements that Snapchat and Twitter are rolling out video divisions too. In May, Spotify added video-streaming to its music-streaming app. And Hulu, Yahoo, and AOL are also pushing their video strategies.
For content providers, it’s a new way to play—and pay.
The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.
The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”
Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.
The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”
That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”