Facebook is reportedly closer than expected to making a big push into television. The company is developing around 24 shows and plans to premiere them in mid-June, according to a big new report from Business Insider. There will apparently be two tiers of show: a small number of longer, prestige shows on the order of House of Cards, and more digestible 5- to 10-minute shows that can be added to the Facebook app’s video tab daily.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in February that he wanted users to come to the service for “episodic content.” It’s part of a major initiative at the company to begin siphoning away some of the billions of dollars that are spent on television advertising ever year — a major growth opportunity for Facebook, which is running out of room in the News Feed to show more ads.
Business Insider reports that a virtual reality dating show from Condé Nast is among the shows that Facebook has greenlit. “A-list celebrities” are in talks to appear in other shows, according to the report, and one big (anonymous) star has already agreed to a deal.
The news comes a day after YouTube said it would premiere its own tier of free, ad-supported television during a presentation at NewFronts. Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Kevin Hart, and Ellen Degeneres are among the stars that have agreed to make new shows for YouTube.
Plans to launch TV on Facebook have been pushed back once already and could be again, Business Insider reported. Facebook has not yet responded to a request for comment.