Facebook’s Pay-TV Plans Don’t Make Much Sense

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) could integrate premium cable channels such as AT&T’s (NYSE:T) HBO into its social network next year, according to Recode. Facebook could directly sell the subscriptions and let users watch the streaming channels through its own apps.

This isn’t a new idea. Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) offers similar services for its Fire TV devices, Apple plans to integrate its platform with cable channels next year, and HBO’s own apps run across a wide range of set-top boxes, smart TVs, video game consoles, and other devices.

Facebook will probably integrate those channels into its Watch platform, which remains a distant underdog in the streaming video market dominated by YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO Now. Facebook might believe that tethering HBO and other premium cable networks to Watch could grow its audience — but the idea seems flawed.

How fast is Watch growing?
Facebook Watch recently disclosed that 400 million users watched at least one minute of video on Watch per month, and that 75 million users watched at least one minute of video per day. Those daily viewers tuned in for an average of 20 minutes per day.

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