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Publishers brace for what happens if Facebook stops paying for live videos

Last spring, Facebook signed up nearly 140 media companies and celebrities to produce a regular stream of Facebook Live content. BuzzFeed and Tastemade, for instance, are getting paid $3.1 million and $1 million to produce Facebook Live videos for a 12-month period ending in March 2017, according to The Wall Street Journal.

For Facebook, this approach ensures that it gets a steady stream of live video on its platform every month — and as a result, people sticking around longer on Facebook to watch those videos. By the end of the 12-month period, Facebook will be sitting on a mountain of data, which it can then use to make adjustments based on what’s working and what’s not working. What’s not clear is whether Facebook will continue paying media partners to do live content.

“I don’t expect them to continue with the pay model,” said Micah Gelman, director of editorial video at The Washington Post. “They say they’re working hard on a monetization model [for publishers], but I don’t know if that’s going to be as successful for us as being paid directly by them.”

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