Facebook Destroyed Its Streaming Services To Help Netflix, Claims Prosecutors

Facebook Destroyed Its Streaming Services To Help Netflix, Claims Prosecutors

Since very few individuals are aware of Facebook launching its streaming service, Mark Zuckerberg’s OTT venture was very short-lived. Although Facebook’s (now meta) streaming service, Watch, never received a platform, it had the capabilities to give fierce competition to one of the largest streaming services, Netflix. On the contrary, the court filings that were recently revealed in Meta’s antitrust lawsuit claim that “Watch” was destroyed to protect Zuckerberg’s advertising relationship with Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings.

For nearly a decade, Netflix and Facebook enjoyed a special relationship. It is no great mystery how this close partnership developed and who was its steward: from 2011-2019, Netflix’s then-CEO Hastings sat on Facebook’s board. They directed the companies’ relationship

claimed by a plaintiff who made the filings on Saturday.

Additionally, the same filings also revealed the uncomfortably close relationship between Netflix’s then-CEO, Reed Hastings and Facebook’s upper management, which includes Sharyl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg. Owing to their close relationship, reportedly, Netflix was provided with special access by Meta that allowed them to check into Facebook user’s private message inboxes, among other analytical tools. Besides, the privacy deal by Facebook was done in exchange for hundred-million-dollars advertising deals. Hence, this gave Facebook dominance in showcasing its advertisement, which was its important division. Hence, owing to the deal, Facebook shut down its streaming service, Watch, which assisted Netflix in fighting with one of its strongest competitors.

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In 2017, following its release, Facebook Watch signed a plethora of deals to popularise its streaming services; one of the acclaimed deals was with movie star Bill Murray. In 2018, processing the attempt to popularise Facebook Watch, they tried to license the popular 90s TV show Dawson’s Creek. Not just a panned reach, but Facebook had an impressive budget to set its streaming platform as one of the giant services. While Netflix and Facebook were ready to compete in the streaming service market, Netflix’s CEO found himself in the middle as one of the board members of Facebook.

In the 2017 Recode press conference, Reed Hastings talked about the competition and said,

There’s not a big conflict yet. We’re not bidding on the same shows.

Nevertheless, there are possibilities that Facebook Watch might have received a closure owing to different reasons. However, considering that Netflix is an important partner to Meta, tech companies can take down their projects. Additionally, Hastings, who was not only the CEO of Netflix but was also a Facebook board member, it seems that Watch was never given an opportunity to shine among the streaming services.

Posted by Shubhangi Srivastava

Shubhangi is a budding professional with a love for storytelling and an eye for detail. A journalism student and content enthusiast currently working at Tecuy Media. She is eager to bring freshness to the writing field and explore the world through her words.

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