Warner Bros. to deliver movies on Facebook [CNET News]
Warner Bros. is turning to Facebook to grow its movie rental business. The studio recently announced its intentions to incorporate videos for rental or purchase on the Facebook fan pages of its movies. The service is reported to be launching as a test on Wednesday with rentals of “The Dark Knight” being made available on the movie’s fan page.
Through this service, Facebook users will be able to rent the movies using Facebook Credits. Until now, Facebook Credits were the virtual currency that could only be used on the numerous games and apps within Facebook. Expanding to movie rentals is a strategic change for Facebook’s e-commerce business and their long-term strategy to have Facebook users buy all products within Facebook with these credits, and not with credit card payments.
“The Dark Knight” will be available to rent for 30 credits (or $3.00) with a 48 hour viewing window and will be available from the user’s Facebook account for use on any connected device. Further, a user will be able to pause the video and resume when they log back into their profile, even if they return using a different device. Users will also still be able to use Facebook’s social networking features while watching and will be able to post comments on the video.
This deal is a signifcant for Warner Bros., which was looking for new ways to expand its digital distribution. Getting Facebook into the online movie game not only achieves Warner’s goal, but also adds a groundbreaking development for the whole online video industry. Netflix, Hulu, Apple, and Amazon are likely watching this launch very closely.
With the millions of active Facebook users, the social networking giant could quickly become a major player in the online video industry.