Facebook is Stepping Into TV

Last week, AdAge announced that Facebook has been working with Tubi TV and A+E Networks to expand their Facebook Audience Network, a network that Facebook created a few years back as a way of extending beyond their newsfeed inventory. 

While the Facebook Audience Network has been around for a few years, with partnerships with web and mobile app publishers, this is their first attempt to tap into coveted connected TV (CTV) inventory. This inventory is highly sought after by advertisers, yet, at times, difficult to scale against programmatically when you layer on local targeting parameters.

While a lot of CTV content providers allocate a percentage of their inventory to the open exchange, most of this premium inventory continues to be purchased directly from publishers or via private marketplace deals (which can still be fragmented if you’re working with a variety of publishers) in some capacity due to the demand.

Now, if you have a company like Facebook, which has high-quality data on almost two billion users partnering with premium CTV content providers like A+E Networks and Tubi TV, enabled via Facebook’s buying platform, it’s win/win for advertisers, content providers and Facebook alike…hopefully.

It isn’t quite clear how Facebook is going to make this inventory available to advertisers. Ideally, the inventory would be bought just like Facebook’s owned inventory with the ability to scale even with even the most stringent targeting parameters in place. However, this probably won’t be the case – at least not for now due to the fact that this inventory isn’t infinite and it’s very much a seller’s market at this time.

This partnership is still in its infancy, and this inventory is not yet available to marketers. We’re looking forward to seeing how it will actually roll out and what Facebook’s objectives are. It could further position them as a multi-channel buying platform, allowing advertisers to consolidate their media buying through Facebook. However, if Facebook takes a slightly different approach than their competition with this partnership, and creates additional CTV partners, it could be the first step forward into accessing highly targeted CTV inventory at scale, in an automated fashion. We’re crossing our fingers.