Joe Media puts original video front-and-centre as it unveils in-house studio and weekly Facebook Live sports show

Joe Media

Joe Media is repositioning itself around original video, today (19 September) unveiling a weekly sports show ‘Football Friday: Live’ produced exclusively for Facebook Live, the first production to come out of its new in-house studio.

The idea of the in-house studio is to cements Joe’s move away from the traditional website model and morphing into a publisher with the main components of both a distributed media business and a TV network.

The sports show, set to go live on Friday at 7pm, marks a statement of intent from the publisher to hinge its business around video content, focusing much of its efforts around Facebook Live.

“Our view is that the value of originally recorded high quality video is worth an order of magnitude more than the cluttered space of aggregated 3rd party video” Joe Media’s chief executive Will Hayward told The Drum, “We’re building the UK’s first socially distributed TV network, and this is going to be the centre piece of our business and offering to brands from now onwards.”

The 30-minute shows will be recorded in the studio and hosted by sports commentators including ex-professional footballer, Ledley King and Tony Barrett, former Times football writer who recently joined Joe as its chief football writer, Dion Fanning, and comedian and presenter of the show, Jim Daly.

The show will run for 35 to 38 episodes dependent on the Premiership season structure. The publisher has contracted a brand partnership for the channel from January. Hayward told The Drum he is anticipating weekly views across all content in excess of 1m views “easily”.

Post-transmission each live show will be broken up into five or six ‘viral segments’ - shorter series of clips from each show to be distributed across social platforms including Instagram and Twitter, although the “majority of investment will be going into Facebook”, Hayward said.

To build up anticipation around the launch and keep regular viewers coming back each week, Joe will be running a series of activations across the course of the week including some originally recorded teaser content.

While the magazine is launching its first video series in sport, it promises Football Friday: Live is laying down the foundations for video content in lifestyle topics and beyond to best serve its male audience.

“Not every man is interested in sport”, said Rebecca Fennelly, newly appointed head of brand at Joe Media. “We need to replicate that.”

Hayward added: “Sport is a key passion point for Joe and something with the hire of Ledley and Tony, alongside the existing world class talent we’ve had since our inception, we think we’re doing better than most of the market. But expect much more Facebook Live content in the coming months, including programming that won’t be focused on sport.”

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