It's been little more than six months since media companies and celebrities hit the jackpot... and already their good luck is over. At the end of June 2016, Facebook signed agreements with a list of publishing firms and stars to broadcast live video on the social media platform. Buzzfeed received $3.1 million. The New York Times pocketed $3 million, CNN $2.5 million and Huffington Post $1.6 million. Michael Phelps received $200,000, the same amount as Russell Wilson and chef Gordon Ramsay. Comedian Kevin Hart did even better. His contract gave him $600,000. Altogether, Facebook agreed to spend $50 million over the next twelve months for live video content.

That commitment now appears to be over. Recode has reported that none of the publishers it's spoken to expect Facebook to renew the deals.

The aim of those contracts was to give live video a running start. Facebook understood that simply opening the channel to anyone who wanted to use it would result in a lot of dull videos and confusion about what Facebook Live could do. By paying leading publishers and celebrities to make the first broadcasts, Facebook was able to set a standard. It's the same principle that AirBnB used when it rolled out its home-renting site. After the company recognized that low-quality snaps were reducing sales, they flew to New York and photographed some of the properties themselves, showing other renters what they needed to do. The company hasn't looked back since.

So Facebook's decision not to renew those contracts is more important than it looks --and not just for the publishers who are about to lose a useful income stream. It tells us that as far as Facebook is concerned, live video is already here. It doesn't need any more help. Brands that want to engage their audiences and businesses that want to broadcast events no longer need to be shown what to do and how to do it. They've figured it out. When a stay-at-home mom can rack up more than 160 million views by pulling on a Chewbacca mask, Facebook can keep its $50 million and still win audiences.

But that money isn't disappearing into Mark Zuckerberg's pocket. According to Recode, Facebook is now looking to buy its own video shows in the same way that Amazon and Netflix commission their own content. Talking about the video tab, Facebook executive Ricky Van Veen told Recode:

"Our goal is to kickstart an ecosystem of partner content for the tab, so we're exploring funding some seed video content, including original and licensed scripted, unscripted, and sports content, that takes advantage of mobile and the social interaction unique to Facebook. Our goal is to show people what is possible on the platform and learn as we continue to work with video partners around the world."

In other words, Facebook's commitment to video isn't going away; it's getting deeper. The quality is going to rise higher and higher. And brands that don't manage to keep up are going to be left far behind.