Warner Bros. and Facebook Join to Stream Movies
Warner Bros. has decided the best way to rent streaming movies is to go where the people are. Facebook's 500 million users makes it the perfect place for Warner Bros. to start.
"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."
Facebook will begin renting Warner Bros. films, starting with the immensely popular "The Dark Knight," for immediate streaming. The studio plans to offer additional titles over the coming months.
To rent “The Dark Knight,” Facebook users need only go to the official Dark Knight Facebook page and click the "rent" icon. Rentals are paid for in Facebook Credits, not direct transactions with credit cards. Renting “The Dark Knight” will cost 30 Facebook Credits, which translates to $3, and users will have access to the movie for 48 hours. That includes the ability to pause and return to it anytime during the rental period. Of course, Facebook has ensured that users still have the ability to post comments and update their profiles while watching the movie.
This partnership not only benefits Warner Bros. It also increases Facebook's position as a destination site where people come and stay for a while, which is crucial for advertising revenue and other promotional deals.
Adding movie rentals will boost usage of Facebook's currency, the Facebook Credit, too. As many websites have shown over the past couple decades, instituting a site-specific currency is a great way not only to increase revenue but also user investment in the site. If the new rental program works well, expect to see more services offered through Facebook.