Just as live-tweeting changed the way people consumed television—Nielsen even created “Twitter TV Ratings” in 2013—Facebook is trying to revolutionize the way we stream.
According to Deadline, the social media giant penned a deal with 20th Century Fox Television that allow users to binge Joss Whedon-created cult classics Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly on Facebook Watch for free.
Although the deal is non-exclusive, and the shows are available to stream on Hulu, Facebook’s offerings are unique because it will allow users to create their own “Watch Parties” so that friends can get together virtually to simultaneously stream and discus the show in a shared space. (Gone is the “press play, no pause, now play again!” struggle of trying to synch Netflix stream with a long distance partner or friend over Facetime.)
Facebook launched Watch last year and the Watch Party feature in July, but this is the first time that it’s incorporated content that isn’t original to Facebook. And considering CNBC’s report that the product has yet to gain wide recognition, and that the company’s primary Watch target is millennials ages 30 and older, some 90s nostalgia might be just what the doctor order.
Buffy fan and Facebook vp of video Fidji Simo said as much in a post, writing that the company is “excited to bring iconic pop culture favorites like these series for their avid fan communities to experience them in new ways, and for new fans to discover these awesome 90s classics.”
Simo also said that each show’s Facebook Page would be hosting their own public Watch Parties through the weekend. An event that Buffy herself—the actress Sara Michelle Gellar—promoted (in a Facebook video, of course).
Grab Mr. pointy and your Scooby gang: Every episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Series is now available on Facebook Watch! If you and your friends watch it, does it mean you’re all my Watchers now? Whatevs – Get ready to slay all day! Every episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Series is now available on Facebook Watch here or go to Facebook Watch: https://www.facebook.com/BuffyTheVampireSlayerTheSeries/Start a Watch Party to watch and discuss your favorite episodes with friends.
Posted by Sarah Michelle Gellar on Friday, November 30, 2018
Considering Variety’s report that Facebook is expected to spend between $1 billion and $2 billion on Watch content deals in the next year, this is likely the first of many fan favorites to come.