Facebook has decided that they’d like to see if they can bring their big ad business to the big screen.
Next week, Facebook has made plans to begin testing what will be their Audience Network ad network sell video ads within apps on internet-connected TV platforms like Apple TV and Roku, Recode reported earlier on Friday. The company’s plan was confirmed by a Facebook spokesperson.
“We are testing how to best deliver video ads through Audience Network to people watching content on connected TVs. Our goal is to bring relevant ad experiences to people both on Facebook and off,” said the spokesperson in an emailed statement to Marketing Land.
At this point, Tubi TV and A&E appear to be the only publishers handling over some o their TV app inventory to Facebook. Rather than selling ads to typical brands like Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola, Facebook will be selling ads to itself, filling the slots with video ads promoting Facebook or non-profit organizations that work with Facebook.
Even though the tests my be minor, the implications would be pretty big. Even though companies like Facebook and Google have gobbled up most of the ad space we see, to the point any new digital ad dollars appear to be going only to them, the digital ad space is growing as more forms of media go digital. This means TV, as TV is no longer limited to the content coming out of a cable box. If it’s something that can be watched on your television, it’s TV, and damn near anything can be viewed on TV. If content can be watched on the big screen, than realistically, so can ads.
The digital TV ad land grab has already begun, as Google and Verizon-owned AOL have already laid claim to some of that new space. What Facebook could do is bide their time and wait for these companies to get thing started, and the uproot them later through the size of its audience and the data it has on them. This would make it easy for advertisers to by those audience members’ attention. That’s what its ad network has been trying to do with both mobile and desktop.
But since Facebook’s competition has gotten wise to their ways, their opportunity window may not be as wide as the social media company would like it. Ultimately Facebook might be looking for more places to place their ads, as its running low on new real estate.