Facebook Live rolls out the red carpet for 'The Fate of the Furious'

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Dive Brief:

  • The red carpet premiere of action film “The Fate of the Furious” will be streamed on Facebook Live, according to a press release from Universal Pictures. The premiere is being held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Saturday. Stars of the movie, including Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron, Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson, are expected to appear. 
  • The streaming red carpet coverage follows Facebook Live capturing the global trailer release for “The Fate of the Furious” occurring across 22 screens in New York’s Times Square. 
  • Facebook, where “The Fate of the Furious” content is found at facebook.com/fastandfurious, certainly isn’t the only social media platform promoting the film. Universal Pictures is building buzz with the hashtag #F8Premiere on various social-media networks. It’s also set up a Snapchat handle at fastfurioussaga, as well as one on Instagram (fastandfuriousmovie) and Twitter (@fastfurious). “The Fate of the Furious” hits U.S. theaters on April 14. 

Dive Insight:

Unlike traditional television advertising, Facebook Live allows Universal Pictures to immediately reach a global audience for its promotional activities surrounding “The Fate of the Furious,” the eighth installment in the enormously popular “The Fast and the Furious” franchise. The platform is especially compelling for live events such as at red carpet premieres, during which viewers are welcome to experience the occasion with the stars on their computers or mobile devices. And Facebook Live creates that high-impact experience at a much lower cost than TV spots.   

Universal Pictures also worked previously with Facebook on a virtual overlay that allowed Facebook Live users to turn into an orc from the movie “Warcraft.”

Although Facebook wasn’t the first platform to push into live streaming, it’s quickly becoming a broadcasting juggernaut in the space. In a list of statistics showing how powerful Facebook Live has become, Mediakix noted Facebook’s videos are on pace to surpass 64 billion views by August; Facebook Live videos are watched 3x longer than videos that aren’t live; commenters comment on Facebook Live videos at 10x the rate of regular videos; “Facebook Live Stream” search popularity has surged 300% since Facebook Live’s debut and that Facebook notched a 300% jump in live videos from media companies between January and May last year. 

Despite the impressive data, Facebook has encountered roadblocks with its Live streaming video feature. Monetization has been a work in progress with Live, especially with publishers, and it’s become a home for some extreme content.  

As Millennials bypass traditional media formats, movie marketers are increasingly dependent on social media to build buzz for films. Live streaming, whether it’s on Facebook Live or other networks, has the unique ability to leverage the charisma of celebrities in ways more static postings cannot in order to excite potential audiences.

Presumably, Universal Pictures will showcase the personalities of the cast of “The Fate of the Furious” during the red carpet premiere. The movie studio can also connect with the audience it draws to the live stream on Facebook Live for future events and movies.