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Facebook Launches Test for Subscription Video On Demand Service

Stephanie Sengwe

As if the subscription video-on-demand arena wasn’t packed enough, Facebook also wants to throw their hat into the mix. The social media network announced today that they will be experimenting with selling their U.S. users streaming video. The plan is to convert a users who already consume video and other content for free, into paying customers.

The small-scale test will allow users to subscribe to BBC and ITV’s BritBox, CollegeHumor’s Dropout, MotorTrend App and Tastemade Plus. Facebook will be processing payments on behalf of the SVOD partners, but did not disclose whether or not they’ll take a cut of the revenue during the test period and if so, how much.

Through Facebook, the subscription prices of each of the services are the same as through other platforms. Tastemade Plus is $2.99 per month, Dropout and MotorTrend App (run under a joint venture with Discovery) are $4.99, and BritBox is $6.99.

Reports of the subscription service first came out late last year, when Recode reported that Facebook would be launching a feature that allows users to subscribe to services such as HBO, Showtime and Starz, through Facebook Watch. At the time, Amazon was expecting Amazon’s Prime Video Channels business to net $500+ million from their streaming partners. There’s no HBO, Showtime, Starz, or any other big, traditional TV brand in Facebook’s launch today, however.

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