Warner Bros has launched a scheme that will allow Facebook users to rent movies using Facebook Credits and stream them directly through the studio’s Facebook page, the first major studio to do so.
By harnessing the capabilities of the social networking site, purchasers would be able to watch the movie, while continuing to chat with their friends. Given the enthusiasm of the pay-TV sector to add social networking to their platforms, it seems a logical step for this to happen the other way around. The catalyst here is Warner Bros itself, rather than Facebook. The studio is using the site in much the same way as the other 400 applications and games on the site such as Farmville or RSS Graffiti. At this stage it is neither a threat to Netflix or pay-TV market as a whole.
“Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people,” said Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. “Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts. It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world’s largest social network.”
Fans of the Christopher Nolan Batman movie The Dark Knight will be able to purchase the title for 30 Facebook Credits, equivalent to $3. Purchasers will have 48 hours to view the movie with the ability to watch it in full screen, pause the movie, and resume playing it when they log back into Facebook.
The title can only be viewed in the United States and other movies are planned for distribution over Facebook in the next few months.