Look out Netflix, Social Networking giant Facebook and Warner Bros. have joined together to offer streaming movies for rent on Facebook.
On it’s initial launch Facebook users can now stream “The Dark Night” direct from it’s Facebook fan page for a cost of 30 Facebook credits or $3. The movie rental stream lasts for 48 hours and is accessed by an application Warner Bros. built specifically for Facebook. While watching the movie stream, Facebook continues to remain fully functional just in case you need to update your status!
Facebook with it’s millions of users is certainly a great place to market your products however with stiff competition from giants like Apple, Amazon and Netflix is unclear how watching a movie on Facebook for $3 is exactly a great deal. iTunes rents movies for the same price for 30 days although you have only 24 hours to finish the movie once you’ve started watching it. Netflix has 100’s of movies available for a low flat fee of only $8-$10 per month.
Facebook has half a billion users who go to their site every day, Netflix on the other hand has about 20 million subscribers so Facebook clearly has numbers on it’s side except when you consider the number of devices which can access Netflix including TV’s, DVD Players, Video Game Consoles, Apple TV boxes and laptops/computers. Facebook on the other hand can only be accessed by computer for now …. but wait, there is a Facebook Widget coming out for most internet connected TV’s and DVD players which will open up Facebook Movie Rental Streaming to more devices in your home than just your computer. When this happens – Netflix will certainly be in for a monumental challenge to maintain and grow it’s market share.
So who will win the steaming war? Facebook with it’s half billion users, movie and studio fan pages and intact payment system looks pretty promising, Apple with it’s Apple TV and iTunes and millions of Apple ID accounts also is in a great position moving forward, Netflix on the other hand with it’s 20 million users and convenient, established delivery and marketing model is caught in the middle of these two giants.
Ultimately it’s the consumer who will win this battle as each service strives to be first to deliver the newest content at the lowest price.
OH – I forgot to mention one thing …. Thanks to the CRTC, Facebook Movie Streaming is Not Available in Canada at this time 😦