Warner Bros to stream movie rentals on Face­book in US

Townsville Bulletin - - The Goss -

Bros is bring­ing movie rentals to Face­book, the first Hol­ly­wood stu­dio to turn to the fast-grow­ing so­cial net­work as an on­line plat­form for its films.

The Dark Knight, the 2008 Bat­man thriller di­rected by Christo­pher Nolan and star­ring Heath Ledger and Chris­tian Bale, will be the first movie of­fered for rental on Face­book, the stu­dio said.

It and can be watched at face­book. com/ darkknight.

The rental fee is 30 Face­book Cred­its, or $ US3, and the movie can be viewed un­lim­ited times dur­ing a 48-hour pe­riod, the Time Warner-owned stu­dio said in a state­ment.

For the mo­ment, only Face­book mem­bers in the United States can rent the movie.

Hol­ly­wood stu­dios have been look­ing at var­i­ous ser­vices to dis­trib­ute movies on­line, in­clud­ing Ama­zon, Net­flix, Ap­ple’s iTunes, Hulu, YouTube and oth­ers, but Warner Bros is the first to of­fer its film on Face­book, which has more than 500 mil­lion mem­bers around the world.

Warner Bros de­scribed the Face­book move as an ex­per­i­ment, but said ad­di­tional movie ti­tles will be avail­able for rental and pur­chase on a reg­u­lar ba­sis ‘‘ over the com­ing months’’.

‘‘ 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,’’ Gewecke said.

‘‘ It gives con­sumers a sim­ple, con­ve­nient way to ac­cess and en­joy our films through the world’s largest so­cial net­work.’’

Warner Bros said Face­book users will be able to com­ment on the movie, in­ter­act with friends and up­date their sta­tus while watch­ing the film.

Video is al­ready hugely pop­u­lar on Face­book with tens of mil­lions of mem­bers swap­ping clips daily, but lit­tle of the video cur­rently be­ing viewed is long-form con­tent such as movies.

Debra Aho Wil­liamson, an an­a­lyst at eMar­keter, said the movie rentals were an at­tempt by Face­book to broaden its rev­enue sources be­yond ad­ver­tis­ing, which ac­counts for more than 90 per cent of the so­cial net­work’s rev­enue.

‘‘ Face­book Cred­its will slowly in­crease its pro­por­tion of to­tal rev­enue in the com­ing years, and this deal shows Face­book isn’t con­tent to hinge the suc­cess of Cred­its solely on vir­tual sales in so­cial games,’’ Wil­liamson said.

‘‘ How­ever, this is clearly an ex­per­i­ment. Face­book is ex­plor­ing many dif­fer­ent mar­kets right now, and it’s not nec­es­sar­ily go­ing to be suc­cess­ful in all of them,’’ she said.

Heath Ledger in

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