Facebook Inches Closer to Hollywood with New Entertainment Hire

/ Feb 24, 2014

sibyl goldman

Sibyl Goldman is leaving her post at Ryan Seacrest Productions to become Facebook’s new head of entertainment partnerships. According to Variety, at Facebook, Goldman will oversee a team that will be responsible for reaching out to and securing partnerships with studios, networks, and celebrities.

As Twitter and YouTube have been doing, Facebook wants to forge deeper ties with the entertainment industry. In most cases, like Twitter, Facebook will look to work with celebrities, studios, and networks to amplify their voice and promote their film and TV content to the social giant’s massive audience (1.23 billion monthly active users as of December 2013).

However, what could make Goldman’s appointment more interesting is if Facebook, as many like to speculate, eventually does challenge YouTube. The social giant already has a massive audience, and if it made a serious investment in digital content production and distribution, it could pose a serious threat to YouTube’s dominance in online video.

And it’s not like Facebook isn’t interested in having more video on its platform. The company has been testing a newsfeed video-ad product for more than a year, and recently worked with YouTube star Ray William Johnson to exclusively preview his new sci-fi web series.

For Goldman’s part, she has experience in original online programming. She was SVP of new media at Ryan Seacrest Productions, which produced the Gwyneth Paltrow-starring “The Restart Project” for AOL.

Prior to Ryan Seacrest Productions, Goldman was VP of entertainment at Yahoo.

As she guides Facebook to work more directly with networks, studios, and talent, it will be interesting to see how much of it is for original content, versus ancillary “second-screen” types of partnerships. (I’m willing to bet a lot of the initial original content, if/when it happens, will come via deals with talent.)

Header image: NATPE.org

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