Can’t get those tickets to see your favourite band in concert with your mates? No worries. Live PPV (Pay-Per-View) concerts on Facebook are here. Pay with Facebook Credits, see the concert live with your friends on Facebook – and then chat with the band in an intimate fan-only after-party. And then go back to your favourite bits, fast-forwarding and rewinding the archived recording until your groupie heart is content.
Powered by Milyoni – the f-commerce outfit that sent Netflix shares tumbling when they started a Facebook movie rental streaming service a few months back, you can currently see rock group Widespread Panic at the Moody Theater as part on the ACL (Austin City Limits) Live music event. The ACL event appears to be something of a lightening rod to Facebook innovation – Hulu tried Facebook streaming the event – for free – back in 2009.
In reality, the 2011 ‘social theater‘ experience, as it is dubbed, feels a little ‘beta’, more proof-of-concept than final product. But it also smells like the future. Kudos Milyoni.
The key, in our opinion, to success with Facebook PPV streaming of movies, music and sports will to be to add value to the experience, with exclusive content – interviews, discussions, digital merchandise etc – not available on broadcast media, and wrap it up in a VIP ‘Facebook Fan Lounge’ ‘access all areas’ feel.
Pause, fast-forward and rewind, or chattering with Facebook friends won’t cut it – anyone with decent TV service and smart phone can do that already. And it’s got to look and feel premium – as good as any microsite could deliver. Oh and work on mobile iOS devices too (HTML5 not flash). It’s a tough brief for developers wrestling with the ever-evolving Facebook platform.
We’re not there yet, but if there is a horse to back in the f-commerce cacophony, we’d back premium digital content for fans; instant gratification, no unit costs, and frictionless payments with Credits could be a winning combination. Beyond PPV – we see subscription services for fans as hugely promising. Miami Heat already have a Facebook fan-store, it’d be great if they offered season ticket holding fans VIP access to live (and archived) streamed events. For baseball, the MBL is already experimenting with Facebook streaming.
In sum, our prediction is this – If Facebook TV has a future, it’ll be fan-TV.