Warner to stream movies on Facebook

Forget BlockBuster, Hulu and Netflix: Warner Bros. is planning to stream a variety of “rented” videos on Facebook.

That’s right – members of the popular social networking site are now able to watch Batman: the Dark Knight on an official Facebook fan page. As expected, additional titles are slated to be added over the coming months.

Warner is the first Hollywood studio to offer movie titles directly through Facebook. If successful, the move will likely prompt a new brave new frontier of streaming video rentals powered by virtual currency such as Facebook Credits.

Linked to your credit card, Facebook Credits have long existed on the site for the purchase of apps or in-game goods.

However, this is the first time they are being used to facilitate video rentals, which will cost a cool 30 FB credits, or $3.

Viewers will be granted 48 hours to watch the rented movie, which can be viewed in full screen screen, paused, and resumed within the above-mentioned time frame.

At the same time, renters can surf Facebook, as the site will have full functionality while watching.

“Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people,” explained 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.”

Although the video rental program is a preliminary test, it marks a bigger trend in Facebook’s strategy to turn the social networking site into a one-stop shopping site. Considering Facebook’s enormous traffic, both marketeers and brands are keen on leverage the site’s power for profit.

(Via Hollywood Reporter