Warner Bros. to test movie rental with Facebook

13:31, March 09, 2011      

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Warner Bros. on Tuesday announced that it will begin testing an offering of selected movies for purchase or rental through Facebook, which is seen as the social networking giant's first foray into the online movie rental market.

Warner Bros. said consumers can buy or rent a title through the studio's Facebook movie pages and can watch the film through their Facebook account for up to 48 hours from purchase.

Starting Tuesday, Warner Bros. is offering the blockbuster film "The Dark Knight" as the first title for fans to rent through its official Facebook page, with the cost of 30 Facebook Credits or 3 U.S. dollars.

The offering is presently available only to consumers in the United States, and additional titles will be made available for rental and purchase on a regular basis over the coming months, Warner Bros. said.

"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," Gewecke added.

Facebook's test of movie rental may pose no immediate threat to movie-streaming service providers such as Netflix, as Facebook currently only has a pay-per-view platform, some analysts noted.

"However, on a longer-term basis, we think that Facebook could become a credible threat as its video business evolves," Ingrid Chung, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, said in a report.
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Source: Xinhua

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