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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Would you watch movies on Facebook?

I received the following press release this morning:

WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT BECOMES FIRST HOLLYWOOD STUDIO TO OFFER MOVIES DIRECTLY ON FACEBOOK®

MILLIONS OF WARNER BROS. FACEBOOK FANS CAN NOW RENT MOVIES USING FACEBOOK CREDITS AND STREAM WITHIN STUDIO’S MOVIE FAN PAGES

PROGRAM WILL EXPAND TO DIGITAL MOVIE PURCHASES IN THE NEAR FUTURE

BURBANK, CALIF., March 8, 2011 – Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD), a market leader in video-on-demand and electronic sell-through, today announced it will begin testing an offering of selected movies for purchase or rental through Warner Bros. Entertainment’s Facebook movie Pages. Consumers will be able to use Facebook Credits to easily buy or rent a title, all while staying connected to Facebook.

Starting today, millions of fans who “Liked” Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster film “The Dark Knight” can rent the title through its official Facebook Page (http://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.

“Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people,” said Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. “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.”

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.

Good idea? What are the potential problems? (I see one: If you lose your Facebook account, for whatever reason, do you lose the movies you’ve bought? Sounds like you would.) Is there any point to this when the same functionality is available from other dedicated movie-streaming sites, such as Amazon on Demand, Netflix, and LoveFilm? Would this make more sense for indie filmmakers who don’t have distribution but can get their movie in front of audiences via the most popular social-networking site?

Would you watch movies on Facebook?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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