Uh oh, this is a great thing for customers it seems, but bad for everybody else in this business. Warner Bros. Digital Distribution has just announced it will begin testing an offering of selected movies for purchase or rental through Warner Bros. Entertainment Facebook movie Pages. Consumers will be able to use Facebook Credits to easily buy or rent a title, all while staying connected to Facebook. This is kind of big, it’s been done to a small degree before, but this is the first time a major studio is making a move like this and at the current pricing model it’s going to be very, very attractive. The major test though will be performance, stability and options to perhaps share movies with friends. For this to work there needs to be that social interaction component involved. If I am Amazon, Netflix and the rest, this movie shakeup with Facebook has me really, really worried.
Starting today, Facebook users will be able to rent The Dark Knight through its official Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/darkknight). Consumers simply click on the rent icon to apply their Facebook Credits, and within seconds they will begin enjoying the film. The cost per rental is 30 Facebook Credits or $3. This offering is presently available only to consumers in the United States. Additional titles will be made available for rental and purchase on a regular basis over the coming months.
Fans will have full control over the film while watching it through their Facebook account for up to 48 hours from purchase. They can choose to watch it in full screen, pause the movie, and resume playing it when they log back into Facebook. Consumers will also have full Facebook functionality including the ability to post comments on the movie, interact with friends and update their status.