The Big Screen Comes to Facebook

Facebook has already been on the big screen, well what about taking the big screen to Facebook?  We’ve seen over the last few years how Netflix has cashed in on the industry, not to mention Hulu and iTunes.  Well now it might be Facebook’s turn to cash in.

Warner Bros.’ is planning to rent and eventually sell films on Facebook.  They are currently running a test right now with “The Dark Knight.”  For 30 Facebook Credits you can watch “The Dark Knight” right through Facebook.  You can purchase 15 Facebook Credits for $1.50 or 50 Credits for $5.  Either way, that adds up to about 3 dollars to watch the movie.  Not too bad of a price considering the alternatives and you don’t have to leave your couch or send away for it in the mail.

For now the industry leaders (Netflix, Hulu, and iTunes) have the advantage.  They’ve had years to build up their libraries with film and television content while Facebook may initially be lacking.  Ad age has their opinions about the potential game-changer:

  • “It’s yet another distribution platform for the film and TV industry, much bigger (soon to hit 650 million users) and more global than any other. The entertainment industry is eager to cultivate a competitive market for content, rather than hand its business to one dominant player, as the music business did with iTunes.”
  • “Entertainment is an inherently social, sharable experience. Apple understands that, which is why it launched Ping, its iTunes social network. Twitter’s trending topics show that TV is social every night in prime time. Entertainment recommendations spread through word-of-mouth, and Facebook is the world’s water cooler, back fence and Rolodex in one.”
  • “Facebook is one of a few third-party apps on every smartphone and internet-connected TV regardless of platform, which means that it could be as ubiquitous as iTunes or Netflix on the devices that matter.”
  • “The deal is actually great news for YouTube, which would also love to have the studios sell and rent their wares directly to consumers. YouTube has a limited catalog now, but would be more than happy to expand it on the same terms as Facebook and iTunes (30% of sales).”
  • “For Facebook, it’s an important beachhead for commerce beyond virtual goods. Content is the ultimate virtual good, and Steve Jobs sold $1.1 billion worth of it last year. If people start buying content with virtual currency on Facebook, the doors swing wide open. It’s easy to imagine transactions becoming a bigger business for Facebook than advertising.”

Would you be willing to buy Facebook Credits to rent movies?  Share your thoughts below.

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