Behind the scenes battle has big implications

There are behind the scenes battles going on right now that most of us don’t see but they will affect the financial health of media companies, the user experiences that we all have on social networks, and the ever expanding role of how Facebook plays in our lives.

With well over a billion active accounts, Facebook brings to publishers a huge targeted audience base that their major advertisers love to tap into.  But that’s when publishers control and profit from the ad sales process.  That’s what’s precisely at stake in an emerging battle between Facebook and major TV companies.

Right now, the two sides are at loggerheads as to how move forward regarding Facebook’s “Suggested Videos” and “Facebook Live” features.  The social network wants to be in charge of selling ads on the media outlets video productions.  When the productions are on TV, it’s the media outlets themselves that sell the ad inventory.

I had thought that Facebook had made a strategic mistake a couple of months ago when they changed algorithms to have stories from people friends to appear more often than that of publishers.  We users may appreciate it more, but publishers who are paying to play could lose out.  Perhaps I’m wrong, but I would have thought that they would become more demanding at the bargaining table as a result, causing Facebook to bend a bit.

But maybe that’s what Facebook wants.  Maybe Facebook sees it’s own presence as, essentially the new video network and then sees the TV companies as mere content providers and not as partners in any way.

Make no mistake about it.  An awful lot is at stake here.  This is about the future of the relationship that we have with the entertainment entities that produce the content we watch and enjoy.  The decisions make here will, in the long term, decide the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the future of entertainment.

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