"Batman: The Dark Knight" becomes first rental on the social site, revealing Hollywood's hopes of monetizing the digital space.
On-demand movies are coming to Facebook. Warner Bros. has started offering a 48-hour digital rental for its title, "Batman: The Dark Knight," for $3 on the social site.
David Raycroft is VP of product strategy for social commerce company milyoni, which is helping the movie company facilitate the Facebook rentals. He said Warner Bros. will release other films for Facebook rental but stopped short of naming titles.
"The plan is to expand the market," Raycroft said. "We are in discussions with other [movie marketers], as well as television and live-broadcasting events producers."
Consumers can rent "The Dark Knight" by charging $3 to either their cell phone account, credit card, or PayPal. Or, they can spend 30 Facebook Credits, a payment option that lets users buy virtual goods on the Palo Alto, CA-based website. The film became available at midnight EST.
If the viewer exits Facebook, he or she can return to return to the movie's Facebook page within the 48-hour purchase window to begin watching anew. Raycroft's company has made available a customer support phone number and e-mail address on the page for "The Dark Knight," which has 3.9 million "likes."
While Warner Bros. describes the first-of-its-kind offering as a test, the development represents the designs Hollywood has on monetizing the digital space as DVD sales continue to fall. Thomas Gewecke, president of digital distribution at Warner Bros., told Mashable, "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."
Warner Bros. also recently debuted applications for "The Dark Knight" and "Inception" that let users view the movies on an iPhone or iPad without downloading them from iTunes.
Lastly, because Facebook has 600 million users, it looms as a potential competitor to digital distribution brands like Hulu and Netflix.
Want to learn more?
Attend ClickZ Live New York March 30 - April 1. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live brings together over 60 expert speakers to offer an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
Hong Kong, May 5-6, 2015
A Buyer's Guide to Affiliate Management Software
Manage your performance marketing with the right solution. Choose a platform that will mutually empower advertisers and media partners!
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.
May 6, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT