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Report: Facebook is paying more than $50 million to publishers and celebs for live streaming

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Facebook’s live streaming platform is proving to be a significant source of cash for some media companies.  

The social network is paying out more than $50 million to publishers and celebrities who produce content for Facebook Live, according to “a document” reviewed by the Wall Street Journal

Facebook has contracts with close to 140 publishers and celebrities, the report said. Facebook made deals with several media partners (including Mashable) following the launch of its live streaming platform last summer, but the value of these deals was previously unknown. 

The terms of each “varies wildly,” according to the Wall Street Journal, but BuzzFeed’s deal is the most valuable at $3.05 million. In total, at least 17 are worth more than $1 million, including deals with the New York Times and CNN.

Facebook is also paying a handful of celebrities to live stream, including Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, actor Kevin Hart and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, along with YouTube stars and institutions like the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Under the contracts, publishers and celebs agree to produce a set number of broadcasts using Facebook Live. How much a publisher is paid for these broadcasts depends on how big their audience is and how many videos they agree to make, the report says. 

Facebook has high hopes for the platform, which it opened up to all its users earlier this year. Eventually, the network plans to sell ads against its video streams and is using its current deals with publishers and other influential users to jumpstart engagement with the service. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that the list of partners and contracts it reviewed didn’t include all of the social network’s live streaming deals, so Facebook is likely spending more than $50 million on these partnerships — something that could make Twitter-owned Periscope take notice.  

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