News for Authors

Facebook Pivots to Video, Introduces Watch

by Milena Schmidt|October, 2017

Penguin Random House is among a select group of partners, including A&E, BuzzFeed, and others, who are creating video for the newly launched Facebook Watch. Read on to learn more about this initiative and how we’re using it to connect readers with books and authors.  

In the world of digital marketing, content remains king—and video continues to rule the internet.

One study predicts that by 2020, 82 percent of consumer internet traffic will be video. As this shift takes place, social media networks are experimenting with new ways to share video with the masses. Most recently, Facebook launched Watch, a new platform for video on the social network. Continue reading to learn more about Facebook Watch and how Penguin Random House is using the platform to connect with readers.

Watch was introduced in September 2017 and is currently available to Facebook users in the United States on mobile, on desktop/laptop, and in the TV apps. Facebook Watch is a destination for original shows, which are made up of live or recorded episodes that follow a theme or storyline. Penguin Random House was among a select group of partners, including A&E, BuzzFeed, Nat Geo, and others, invited to create content for this new platform.

Programming from Penguin Random House on Facebook Watch includes:

  • Last Minute Book Report, a show in which comedians and authors have ten minutes to cram for a pop quiz on a book they’ve never read—and then they present a hilarious book report!
  • Kick-Ass Characters, a series that pays tribute to your favorite book characters in stop-motion animation.
  • Six Picks, a weekly book recommendation series that features six books you need to read, based around different topics.  
  • Behind the Books, a live show that asks publishing professionals about what their jobs are really like.
  • Brightly Storytime, a series for kids that brings popular children’s books to life in a read-along video format.


“Experimenting with new ways to reach readers is a priority for us so we were more than game to try our programmatic video content on Facebook Watch,” said John Clinton, senior director of digital video at Penguin Random House. “Digital video continues to be a priority for all of the major social platforms so we are keeping a close eye on new initiatives like this—you never know what could turn into a break-out success.”

While the ability to create content for Facebook Watch is currently limited to media partners, Facebook may one day decide to allow all users to make video for the platform. Opening Watch to everyone would create exciting new ways for books and authors to create content around their areas of expertise, create series from their book tours, and more.

Until that moment arrives, subscribe to content from Penguin Random House on Facebook Watch. To help you keep up with the shows you follow, Watch has a Watchlist so you never miss out on the latest episodes. You can access Watch by clicking on the TV icon in the mobile navigation bar and in the desktop site bookmarks. Stay tuned for marketing tips and updates on Facebook Watch as the platform grows.

Milena Schmidt is part of the Consumer Marketing Development and Operations Group.