Celeb-driven syndie “Access Hollywood” has launched a new video series — distributed exclusively on Facebook — that promises a behind-the-scenes look at how producers decide what stories to put on TV and which ones to punt on.
The series, “Early Access on Facebook,” will comprise 2-3 minute daily video segments compiled from the NBC-syndicated show’s 5-5:30 a.m. PT news and brainstorming meeting, led by exec producer Rob K. Silverstein. The clips are scheduled to post on Facebook at about 7 a.m. PT.
“The only way to grow these types of shows that have matured is through social media,” Silverstein said.
The show — hosted by Billy Bush (above right) and Kit Hoover — doesn’t have any sponsorship deals for “Early Access,” Silverstein said: “This is really about engaging fans.” By sharing excerpts of “Access Hollywood’s” early news meeting, he’s hoping viewers will provide feedback and weigh in on what they want to see.
For Facebook, the deal is part of its higher-level strategy of growing video usage on the social service and increasingly competing with Internet-video leader YouTube. At the end of 2014, Facebook served more than 3 billion video views per day (although it’s worth noting that the company tallies views for any video that runs for at least 3 seconds, even in autoplay mode).
“Once we started talking with them about it, Facebook was so thrilled — and it was done,” Silverstein said. “(Video) is a high priority for them.”
“Access Hollywood” has about 1 million “likes” on its page. Its core viewer demo is women 25-54, which “lines up perfectly with Facebook,” Silverstein said. He said he didn’t even consider distributing the show to YouTube; while “Access Hollywood” has an account on YouTube, it hasn’t posted a new video there in more than seven years.
According to Facebook, the deal marks its first exclusive video pact with an entertainment partner. Among other media tie-ups, ABC News in December launched the daily, one-minute “Facecast: The One Thing” video segment on Facebook, hosted by “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir.
Facebook ended 2014 with 1.39 billion monthly active users worldwide; of those, 208 million were in the U.S. and Canada. “We need to engage with the fans and bring it to the biggest platform around. And the biggest platform around is Facebook,” Silverstein said. “If we can get a fraction of 1.4 billion users, we can keep this show viable and going for another 20 years.”
The “Early Access” videos will be posted on the show’s Facebook page and also will appear on the “Celebs on Facebook” and “TV on Facebook” pages.
“Access Hollywood,” now in its 19th year, is produced by KNBC-TV and distributed by NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution. The syndicated show is distribution to NBC affiliates and local stations in 90% of the U.S.
Watch the first episode of the “Early Access” series on Facebook: