Warner Bros. Expands Facebook Movies with Harry Potter, Inception
Despite a legion of doubters, Facebook users must "like" Warner Bros. on Facebook. The movie studio offered a trial movie, The Dark Knight, on Facebook for download starting March 8. Today, it's expanding that trial with five additional titles: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Inception, Life as We Know It, and Yogi Bear.
As with The Dark Knight, movies are available for purchase using Facebook credits. Viewers will be able to watch movies on their computers for 48 hours after purchase. The movies are streamed through Facebook, so online access is required. If users stop watching a movie in one session, the site will remember their place when they log on again.
"We're pleased to expand our test with a variety of titles that will appeal to a broad audience," says Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. "These titles have substantial followings on Facebook. The fan pages for Harry Potter and Inception alone are two of the most popular and active communities on the site."
While offering a few movies through Facebook doesn't seem like much competition to Netflix or Amazon Video on Demand, the trial must be paying off for Warner Bros., if it's adding more titles. It's an interesting experiment that delivers popular movies to a site that already has a huge audience of younger people, rather than making them search out the movies on a different site. If this test also goes well, don't be surprised if other studios jump on board.
The studio has a variety of owned, partnered, and in-development online video concerns. Now they all live under the same umbrella.
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App launches in beta; will eventually grow into a cloud-based digital locker system.
The studio is starting small, with one title, but will expand with additional purchases and rentals.