Facebook just made a deal with HBO that will see the social network stream the first episodes of two of the television network’s comedy series.
You’ll be able to watch the first episode of “Ballers,” a new show starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, on the star’s Facebook page from Wednesday, CNBC reports, which has 49 million Facebook fans. Facebook will also host the first episode of “The Brink,” another HBO comedy title starring Oscar-winner Tim Robbins, on its own dedicated page.
Facebook will only stream the first episode of each show for a limited time. After that, the rest of the two series will be available on HBO GO and HBO NOW. But the episodes won’t be available on YouTube or any other platform or TV service other than HBO.
For HBO, this is probably an attempt get some of Facebook’s 1.44 billion monthly active users hooked on its shows, so they will keep watching on its channel. Dwayne Johnson also has a huge social media following — 49 million Facebook fans, 8.86 million Twitter followers, and 18.2 million followers on Instagram, according to CNBC.
Facebook, on the other hand, is trying to knock YouTube off the dominant video spot. YouTube is still the dominant video player in terms of views, estimated to be around 8 billion this year to Facebook’s 4 billion. But Facebook video is growing faster than YouTube — four times more Facebook videos were uploaded this year than in 2014, while growth on YouTube is flat — although it does tend to get interacted with more, according to data from Socialbakers.
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