Shorts International’s Shorts HD TV channel will exclusively premiere three short animated movies on Facebook for free during July, for one week each — yet another signpost marking the social giant’s rapid rise as a video destination.
It’s telling that Shorts HD, which is available in the U.S. on DirecTV, AT&T U-verse TV, Google Fiber and a few smaller operators, opted to launch the distribute the movies first on Facebook instead of on YouTube, its own TV network or its own website.
Facebook has been heavily focused on building out its video capabilities. In the next few weeks, it will broaden a test of “suggested videos,” a feature that presents related content to users and serves ads, the revenue from which will be shared with video publishers.
Shorts HD’s short-film premieres this month will not be part of the new Facebook ad program. Instead, it’s the usual promotional model media companies have employed on the social site to date. The promo for Shorts HD’s Summer of Animation programming event is “about meeting our ‘friends’ — the Shorts HD TV audience — in today’s public square on Facebook,” said CEO Carter Pilcher.
While Shorts HD has only 13,000 “likes” on its Facebook page, the network is counting on fans to spread the word to their friends to garner more attention.
The company is primarily focused on linear TV worldwide, but also distributes content via Internet outlets including subscription VOD services, Apple’s iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. “Short movies are great across every platform,” Pilcher said.
The three Shorts HD titles that will run on Facebook are:
- Sam Chen’s “Amazonia” (July 10-17): The 2012 Oscar-nominated short tells the story of the dangerous world of the Amazon rain forest, where finding a meal proves to be an impossible task for a tiny tree frog named Bounce. His luck changes when he meets Biggy, a blue-bellied tree frog who takes him under his guidance and shows him the ways of the jungle.
- Serguei Kouchnerov’s “Hybrid Union” (July 17-24): In the imaginary land of Cyberdesert, Plus and Minus struggle with a dependency on an outdated source of energy. The mysterious self-sufficient Smart presents a new challenge for Plus and Minus and forces them to form an alliance, the Hybrid Union!
- “Nullarbor” (July 24-31): Animated road movie, written and directed by Alister Lockhart and Patrick Sarell, is set in the vast and barren landscape of Australia’s Nullabor Plain.