Facebook has ordered second seasons for only a handful of the original shows it’s funding for its Watch video section. The shows all share the same kind of viewership numbers: Significant views in the tens of millions followed by steep declines in viewership for subsequent episodes.
Watch is Facebook’s three-month-old effort to foster television-like viewing habits on its service by offering original, episodic video programs (and to rake in the billions of dollars spent on TV advertising). Business Insider recently spoke with multiple partners that produce shows for Watch about how Facebook is judging the success of early shows.
The sheer number of views a show garners isn’t as important a factor in determining whether a show gets renewed for another season. For example, Refinery29’s scripted “Strangers” show reached nearly 9 million views but none of the following episodes cracked even 200,000 views, according to viewer data Facebook publicly shares on its website.
Other Facebook Watch shows that got re-upped include: “Ball in the Family,” a reality show about the basketball family known for its high-scoring siblings and more recently the father’s war of words with President Trump. “Returning the Favor,” another Watch show getting a second season, stars Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame going around to random towns and giving people gifts.
Total views to these shows aren’t setting any records right now. But Facebook thinks they have the potential to create a loyal audience.
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