Warner Bros. & Facebook Offer Movie Rentals, Jump Shark

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Warner Brothers announced today that it would be offering movie rentals through Facebook. While we could just stop there, add the picture below and call it a day, we’ll include some additional details. Users will be able to rent the movies using Facebook Credits, an internal currency usually used for games on the site.

“Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people,” Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, said in a statement. “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.”

Movies will be priced at 30 Facebook Credits (US$3.00), and users can watch a movie by going to that movie’s page — seriously — and clicking a “rent” or “watch now” button. The movie being pushed as an introduction to the feature is The Dark Knight.

Facebook is a silent partner in this endeavor. The announcement was made by Warner Bros., for instance, but the social networking service is still a partner in that it OK’d the app, allowed the use of credits for the service, and gave Warner Bros. the tools to embed the app in the individual movie pages. Accordingly, we offer you this image for your enjoyment.

Jumping the Shark

Come on Markie, you can do it!

Jeff Gamet assisted with this article.

Comments

mhikl

Just curious, but wonder if Facebook takes a percentage of the price to cover its costs?

Lee Dronick

Just curious, but wonder if Facebook takes a percentage of the price to cover its costs?

I would think that they are getting some sort of quid pro quo.

ilikeimac

The movie is just called “The Dark Knight.” I thought that was important and wanted you to know.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Ah, I think you’re holding it wrong, Bryan. This isn’t about movies, it’s about currency, and it will be about buying Facebook credits on gift cards right alongside iTunes gift cards from the local Ralph’s or Safeway.

There is a formula for monetizing this kind of ecosystem:

  Ecosystem value = voluntary stickiness x quality.

Apple plays this with high quality and giant locked doors on the walled garden, and plays it quite well. Facebook, OTOH, plays it with amazingly high voluntary stickiness and a lot of crap. People are free to leave whenever they want, but the page views just keep growing and growing. That’s what “social” does. It makes things voluntarily sticky.

If I were going to place a bet, I’d guess that Facebook would do a better job monetizing shorter format stuff like commercial-free TV episodes than full-length feature films. Stuff that would do fine on your lapper or tablet, not stuff you really want to watch on your big screen.

Bryan Chaffin

I agree with you on the short format point, Brad.

But I do believe that Mark fancies Facebook can be some kind of movie distribution power, and that’s why I think he’s jumped the shark.

Bryan Chaffin

The movie is just called ?The Dark Knight.? I thought that was important and wanted you to know.

Thanks for the note. I had originally copied Warner Bros. verbiage from the movie’s Facebook page, even though I knew it was in error. I appreciate the nudge to make it right! smile

ilikeimac

I wonder how many movie rentals a barrel of Smurfberries would buy?

@Bryan Thanks for the fix. I feel so much better now. After playing the stickler I followed the link and saw Facebook had plastered “Batman: The Dark Knight” everywhere.

Terrin

Facebook is making the same mistake Microsoft makes on its Marketplace. Namely issuing credits. This is just a way to confuse users in to disguising the true cost of things. There is no other justification for that system.

Apple’s method is straightforward and honest. People understand dollars.

Lee Dronick

Facebook is making the same mistake Microsoft makes on its Marketplace. Namely issuing credits. This is just a way to confuse users in to disguising the true cost of things. There is no other justification for that system.

Apple?s method is straightforward and honest. People understand dollars.

Yeah, 30 Credits sounds like a lot more than $3.00

See today’s Joy of Tech comic

eolake

OK, I gotta know: how is this Jumping The Shark? What is dumber about than most big Net ventures?

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