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Facebook Expands Its Watch Video Service

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Jun. 17 2019, Updated 11:44 a.m. ET

Facebook brings more content partners on board

Facebook (FB) is expanding its Watch video service. The service is Facebook’s answer to Google’s (GOOGL) YouTube. The Watch video service will likely compete with the video services that AT&T (T) and Comcast (CMCSA) plan to launch later this year or next year. Recently, Facebook provided an update on the progress it has made with the Watch service. The service boasts a monthly audience of more than 720 million people and a daily audience of more than 140 million people around the world. The numbers refer to people who spend at least one minute using Watch.

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Originally, Facebook’s Watch service launched in the US in August 2017. The service was rolled out globally a year later. In the latest Watch expansion, Facebook has partnered with more global publishers to bring their content to Watch. Facebook has lined up more original shows that will be coming to Watch. The company is rolling out a program that allows creators to monetize their Watch videos through commercials to more markets.

Video advertising dollars

With Watch, Facebook has its sights on the rapidly growing digital video advertising market. In the US alone, the spending on digital video commercials is projected to reach $36 billion in 2019 and top $58 billion by 2023, according to eMarketer estimates.

The other companies pursuing the revenue opportunity with Facebook are Google with its YouTube brand, Twitter (TWTR), and Snap (SNAP). Twitter said that more than half of its advertising revenues come from video advertising. Snap has partnered with several content providers to bring its shows to the Snapchat platform. Viacom (VIAB) produces shows specifically for distribution through Snapchat. AT&T and Comcast are preparing to launch ad-supported video services this year and next year.

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