Warner Bros to sell streaming movies on Facebook

By on March 9, 2011, 10:00 AM
Hollywood movie studio Warner Brothers is using Facebook to let users stream full-length films through the social networking platform. Initially available in the U.S. only, the service will grant users a 48-hour window to stream a movie for a fee starting as low as $3 -- or 30 Facebook Credits -- and they can pause and restart the movie as needed without losing any functionality. Interestingly enough, Reuters is reporting that this is not a really partnership, but rather a Facebook application that Warner developed on its own, using the website's open payment and technology standards.

So far Facebook's virtual currency has been used mainly in social games on the site, with Facebook taking a 30% cut on transactions. It seems Warner is looking at new ways to bring some extra revenue by embracing technology rather than fighting it. The first movie available through Facebook will be Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and can be viewed from The Dark Knight's Facebook page itself, which currently has close to 4 million 'likes'.


Additional titles are expected to become available for rental or purchase in the coming months. The studio also began offering mobile-device "app editions" of The Dark Knight and Inception last month. Those editions play the movies within a standalone application for iPhones or iPads, rather than through a service like iTunes or Netflix.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the audio-visual quality on the Facebook video isnít great at this point, but the social networking site would be wise to work on that front and attract other studios. If the pilot program is successful, Facebook's huge user base could make it a serious contender to Netflix and the like.




User Comments: 5

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Lurker101 said:

They're trying to stream movies when they can't even get chat to function correctly

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

It's kind of disappointing to see a company like WB shoe-horning movies onto Facebook when there's a perfectly good platform already out there (*cough* Netflix *cough*). I am sure Netflix wouldn't be paying close to what WB would be making off of the 48 hour 'rental' fee across (potentially) hundreds of thousands of people though....

Facebook is super popular and certainly has an incredible audience, but Facebook is hardly the appropriate platform for this... as evidenced by "the audio-visual quality on the Facebook video isn?t great"

ansh1993 said:

Rick said:

It's kind of disappointing to see a company like WB shoe-horning movies onto Facebook when there's a perfectly good platform already out there (*cough* Netflix *cough*). I am sure Netflix wouldn't be paying close to what WB would be making off of the 48 hour 'rental' fee across (potentially) hundreds of thousands of people though....

Facebook is super popular and certainly has an incredible audience, but Facebook is hardly the appropriate platform for this... as evidenced by "the audio-visual quality on the Facebook video isn?t great"

Rightly said,Rick .Facebook should focus on social-networking .There are a lot of bugs & very annoying one's.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Seems like they are just taking the old traditional rental model and putting it on Facebook. I'd imagine it doing decent even with somewhat high priced content and bad video quality considering the large user base. I however will stick with competing services that offer superior value at a better price.

BrianUMR said:

Rick said:

It's kind of disappointing to see a company like WB shoe-horning movies onto Facebook when there's a perfectly good platform already out there (*cough* Netflix *cough*). I am sure Netflix wouldn't be paying close to what WB would be making off of the 48 hour 'rental' fee across (potentially) hundreds of thousands of people though....

Facebook is super popular and certainly has an incredible audience, but Facebook is hardly the appropriate platform for this... as evidenced by "the audio-visual quality on the Facebook video isn?t great"

They aren't trying to do what Netflix is doing. They are trying to compete with services like itunes and amazon and just cut out the middle man by using FB.

I am a Netflix user btw and love it, however I could see a market for users that don't watch large numbers of films and only watch the big title films would want to go with a pay per watch type of service.

As for Facebook's audio-visual quality it could get better. Look at how far youtube has come. Netflix in terms of audio doesn't have that good of quality either when it comes to surround sound. Well Netflix is updating there library to have more and more 5.1 movies most still are not.

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