Facebook and YouTube’s mysterious interest in old TV series and films

In the past year, YouTube and Facebook have obtained the rights to distribute old movies and TV series. Here’s why.

The subject is relevant to both those in the media industry and those on the content marketing side of the fence.

Do you remember YouTube Red (circa 2015), now known as YouTube Premium? Have you spent time in the Facebook Watch tab since its launch?

Well, if the answers are no to any of these questions, you are not alone and the two giants are currently trying different tactics to attract their users to these platforms and for which they want to promote original series and feature films (à-la-Netflix).

One of these tactics is to obtain the rights of old popular properties that are not currently available elsewhere (Prime, Netflix, Apple, etc.).

Think Rocky, Terminator, Legally Blonde, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.

The idea? Attract audiences with these properties in order to “push” original productions after they’ve watched an episode or a film (much like the major American broadcasters do to build awareness for a new series).

Simon Owens wrote an excellent article on the subject, taking the analysis a little further and giving different details on the current situation for Facebook Watch and YouTube Premium.

I will let you read it and explore what might be relevant in this for the specific context of your brand.