Facebook is paying millions for live streams from celebrities and media companies



It isn't enough that every time you click your television to FOX, there you see Chef Gordon Ramsey either berating a Hell's Kitchen participant, or cheering on a young chef on Master Chef Junior. Now, you just might find the Brit starring in a live video on Facebook Live. Ramsey is one of several celebrities who have signed contracts with Facebook to provide live content for the social network.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Facebook has signed close to 140 deals with celebrities like Ramsey, and media companies. The value of these contracts is said to be in the area of $50 million. Besides the mercurial chef, other celebrities who have signed with Facebook include Kevin Hart, Deepak Chopra and Seattle Seahawks' QB (and Nickleodeon host) Russell Wilson. Media companies signed on include print and digital firms like CNN, theNew York Times, Vox Media, Tastemade, Mashable and the Huffington Post. Some deals are worth more than others, and 17 of them are valued at over $1 million.

The Wall Street Journal says that according to the documents it perused, BuzzFeed is to receive $3.05 million for providing Facebook with live feeds from March 2016 to March 2017. The New York Times is next with a deal valued at $3.03 million for 12-months of content, followed by the $2.5 million that CNN is receiving. The value of each deal is based on each content provider's popularity on Facebook, and the volume of live content promised.

Facebook is making a huge bet with Facebook Live in the hopes that interesting live content will allow it to sell ads and monetize the feature. The different types of media properties and wide scope of celebrities providing content is not done by accident. According to Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of global operations and media partnerships, the company wanted to sign a broad range of providers to see what kind of content works, and what kind doesn't.
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