Facebook is banking on nerd culture to increases video views and ad sales on its site.
Per Variety's report, the social media site (particularly its Facebook Watch video platform) has struck a licensing bargain with 20th Century Fox to stream every single episode of Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly for no charge at all to the viewer. That's right, absolutely free!
Fans (and there are die-hard fandoms for each) can watch any episode they please and comment on it in real time, interacting with other, like-minded fans. Facebook is hoping for thousands of watch parties via peoples' personal timelines.
“What we’ve been focused on Watch is building a people-centric video platform, creating a social viewing experience where you can connect with other people who love the shows, and even the creatives who worked on them,” Matthew Henick, Facebook’s head of content planning and strategy for media partnerships, told Variety.
To get the word out, Facebook has partnered with the stars of the three shows — including Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar, who posted about it on her page today, writing, "It's time to slay all day."
More celebrities are expected to show up during designated livestreams. The first one for Buffy took place today, Nov. 30, at 3 p.m. PT; the second, for Angel, on Dec. 1 at 12 p.m. PT; and the third, for Firefly, on Dec. 2 at 12 p.m. PT. It is unclear for how long the episodes will be available for.
"[These shows] have incredibly dedicated fanbases that have persisted and even grown online," Henick added, stating that Facebook had no immediate plans to stream more beloved shows for free. "This is great content to experiment with."
The deal took effect today, so you can go relive your favorite Whedon-esque moments from all three shows. Buffy can be found here; Angel here; and Firefly here. Hulu's also got them, but only for subscribers.