Warner Bros. starts offering movies on Facebook

Warner Bros. starts offering movies on Facebook

Summary: Warner Bros. Digital Distribution is testing a Facebook movie rental service, starting with The Dark Knight. Eventually the movie studio wants to offer more movies for both rental and purchase.


Warner Bros. Digital Distribution has partnered with Facebook to offer streaming movies for rent. It begins with The Dark Knight; if you go to the movie's Facebook Page you'll see the following message: "You can watch The Dark Knight right here on Facebook using Facebook Credits – it's only 30 credits. (offer not valid in all states)." That's right; this offer is presently only available to consumers in the US.

Clicking on the rent icon will charge you 30 Facebook Credits, or $3.00, to get the movie for 48 hours. The film is streamed from an application Warner Bros. built specifically for Facebook. It allows you to watch the movie in full-screen mode, pause the movie, and resume playing it when you log back into Facebook. At the same time, the application still gives users full Facebook functionality, including the ability to post comments on the movie, interact with friends, and update their status.

Warner Bros. says The Dark Knight is just a test offering, and more movies will become available for both rental and purchase "on a regular basis over the coming months." It's not clear if buying a movie on the website means being able to stream a movie without the 48 hour limit just from a Facebook Page or if users will also be able to access it elsewhere online.

The pricing structure is a little steep. $3.00 for a movie isn't exactly cheap when you can rent it on iTunes for the same price for 30 days (although you only have 24 hours to finish the movie once you've started watching it). Furthermore, a Netflix subscription is only $8 per month now in the US and Canada.

If Facebook quickly partners with other movie studios and can convince them to offer aggressive pricing in the hundreds of countries the social network is available in, then the movie industry could be transformed yet again. As it stands now, however, I'm interested but not impressed.

"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."

Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Warner Bros. starts offering movies on Facebook

    So when will this work on my Wii? Oh yeah...there's already an app for that....it's called NETFLIX!
  • RE: Warner Bros. starts offering movies on Facebook

    This goes with the intentions the studios have of bypassing Netflix and impose their pricing schemes.
  • RE: Warner Bros. starts offering movies on Facebook

    If WB want to compete with Netflix, they have to have a competitive offering. I just don't see this from the pricing structure.
  • Who really cares any more about facebook

    Facebook's numbers must be maintained by blogs such as this one, since mine and others' peers, friends, family and I barely even look at its cluttered and unusable mess anymore. Even my daughter - a staunch supporter in the apparently essential "I want that too" group - sees much of the value in its apps... which are not really facebook. In fact, I've found NOBODY that can identify a single contribution made by facebook rather than its supporters... except perhaps lack of security (having an account REQUIRES frequent checking for publication of private info that they decided to reveal).
    You can hedge on creating a behemoth with access to more personal info than any 1 company should ever be able to access or consider whether it's just a fad waiting for its replacement... perhaps better iOS apps HP/Android widgets, windows8... perhaps something that actually promises some inherent creativity and usefulness.
    The comments are on point and incitefull
  • RE: Warner Bros. starts offering movies on Facebook

    Not impressed. Got all I want streaming with Netflix for only a few more bucks a month.
  • RE: Warner Bros. starts offering movies on Facebook

    Good move for the half of the country that does not get fast enough internet for streaming video. Begin able to download it and then watch with no interruptions will be much better than Netflix.
  • RE: Warner Bros. starts offering movies on Facebook

    I really enjoyed reading this post !!!have bookmarked <a href="http://mlbshopgiants.com/">w</a><a href="http://best3dtvavailable.com/">e</a><a href="http://lampsplusstorelocator.com/">b</a><a href="http://discountperfumewebsites.com/">s</a> will come back to read more.