Miramax Latest To Debut Movies On Facebook
Facebook has moved closer to becoming an online movie venue in its own right through a new partnership with Miramax, marking the social network's largest streaming movie initiative to date. While Warner Bros., Paramount and Universal have already struck content deals with Facebook, they have not been on the same scale, according to a paidContent report.
The Miramax eXperience app launched on the studio's Facebook page Monday, offering a selection of 20 titles to U.S. users and 10 to those in the U.K. and Turkey. France and Germany are next in line to access to the service. Among the acclaimed films included at launch are "Pulp Fiction," "Good Will Hunting," "Chicago," "No Country For Old Men" and "Gangs Of New York."
Movies rented with Facebook Credits -- the company's virtual currency -- can be viewed on the iPad on a browser-based player, as well as on Google TV. Films cost 30 Credits, equal to $3 to rent. Users can watch them during a 30-day period, but within 48 hours once they begin to stream.
"Facebook Platform and Credits are open to all developers, and we're intrigued and enthusiastic about companies like Miramax building social experiences that help people connect through entertainment content," said a Facebook spokesperson.
The Miramax effort comes on the heels of Universal Home Entertainment teaming with Facebook to offer rental of cult classic "The Big Lebowski" through a "social theater" experience, which allows people to "like" and share certain quotations or scenes from the film.
In the next 45 days, Facebook commerce (F-commerce) provider Milyoni plans to add 20 to 30 more titles to its "social theater" from Lionsgate and anime company FUNimation. More films are on the way.
Earlier this year, Warner Bros. kicked off its digital content push on Facebook with "The Dark Knight." It subsequently added titles including "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," "Inception," "Life as We Know It" and "Yogi Bear."
While the various movie offerings on Facebook may not yet rival Netflix or Hulu, the social network's 700-million strong audience and high level of interaction is proving alluring to studios as a powerful marketing vehicle and additional revenue stream.
Miramax CEO Mike Lang wrote in a blog post on the company's Web site: "Today there are over 50 million friends on Facebook that mention a Miramax film in their profile, interact with our Miramax, or like the fan pages of beloved Miramax titles and talent -- from 'Good Will Hunting' to 'Pulp Fiction' and Ben Affleck to Quentin Tarantino."
The studio has set a goal of reaching 150 million Facebook friends in 18 months. Its Facebook brand page has just over 16,000 fans.
Working with video platform Ooyala and AllDigital, along with Facebook, he noted that the app was built in only eight weeks, with plans to make any improvements to be made on the fly. Lang also said that Miramax will eventually add the ability for users to purchase films through the app and "store them in your own cloud-based locker" for viewing across all devices.