Warner to rent films over Facebook

Tim Grey
9 March, 2011
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Warner Brothers is set to rent its movies over Facebook, becoming the first studio to offer films over the social networking site, in direct competition to distribution services like Apple’s iTunes.

According to the New York Times, Warner will trial it new rental system with a release of ‘The Dark Knight.’ Users will be able to pay for the rental using Facebook’s own payment system, Credits.

Warner has been experimenting with new distribution methods in previous weeks, offering ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Inception’ as stand-alone apps in the iTunes store. While free to download with a five-minute preview, the entire film is available to stream via an in-app purchase. Various bonus materials, deleted scenes and fragments of the score were bundled with the film as an incentive.

The strategy of distributing films via an app was doubly appealing to Warner’s as it allowed the company access to the 23 countries where iTunes doesn’t provide movie downloads.

Like iTunes, the primary player in online media distribution, Facebook takes a 30 percent cut of any payment made through its service. The company has been trialing its Credits system through online games for the last two years.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the new and interesting ways that developers and partners use Credits to offer virtual and digital goods in the future,” Jonathan Thaw, a Facebook spokesman, said in a statement to the NYT.

One Comment

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  1. Dan says:

    It will fail. No one want’s to log into facebook with the intent to watch a movie on their computer.

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