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Warner Bros. is expanding its Facebook movie rental library with five additional films, which previously only included The Dark Knight, will now include such studio hits as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Life As We Know It, Inception and Yogi Bear.
The social network movie rentals are a way to bypass services such as Netflix, which is perceived as being increasingly powerful player in digital movie distribution and its transformation. SocialBeat on the subject:
It’s a small step, but it suggests that the experiment is going well.Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, said that the new titles will appeal to a broad audience and that these particularly titles have a lot of fans on Facebook.
Fans can rent a film for 488 hours and have full control of it in terms of pausing, rewinding, fast forwarding and resuming. They can also post comments on the movie, interact with friends as they watch, and update their status.
Frankly, it’s a pretty terrible deal when you realize that Netflix offers many, many, many more unlimited instant streaming movies (and they aren’t mostly awful, either) for just $7.99 a month. Still, the idea that Facebook could potentially jump into the movie renting business is an intriguing one.
Considering more than half of Americans are on Facebook now, the company could be a serious contender for the future king of streaming high quality full-length TV shows, movies, and other multimedia – that is, if Zuckerberg and company are actively pursuing such a thing.
Zuckerberg has a goldmine in hands, Facebook TV as a centralised user-centric platform trumps a product-centric platform in terms of (brand and movie) experience, focus/relevancy from a user point of perspective. F-Commerce is another application which is rising, integrating commerce within Facebook instead of getting people to other websites.
A growing potential of a centralised Facebook TV concept is sustained by three recent news topics on Facebook. First, the news that Amazon is opening a store inside Facebook (selling Pampers) which could be the next big opportunity for Facebook. It will also be a big opportunity for Social TV and new TV revenue streams. The "Shop Now" button can be just as good a "Watch Now" button, integrating TV channels in someone's profile.
From a monetisation point of view, it can trigger Social Commerce in a very direct manner, which could be an interesting option for TV networks to find these badly wanted alternative business- and revenue models.
Advertising Age reports on an interesting development within Facebook, namely that Facebook launches Facebook Groups, a solution to share information with particular people or groups based on their interests.
It will allows users to segment their friends, or form specialized networks within Facebook. This is important to be able to reach the interested people within Facebook, the ability to create sub-vertical mini networks around TV channels/content[...]
It's indeed a small step, but if Facebook and the TV industry would go ahead and diffuse it, it has unique advantages a Netflix, Hulu or whomever doesn't have.