• Facebook May Take a Bite Out of Apple with New Streaming Content Push

    Facebook is joining the ranks of major streaming content providers by beginning to offer online movie rentals. Warner Bros. has already been announced as Facebook’s first official partner in the effort, making The Dark Knight available through the movie’s official Facebook page.

    “Every digital heavyweight is making a play for your living room," writes Peter Kafka of All Things Digital. He adds that Facebook clearly has designs on possibly challenging the likes of Apple, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and everyone” in the digital content streaming space. Although only one film will be made available in this initial test run, Wall Street reacted to the news Tuesday as traders began selling shares of Netflix in anticipation of Facebook’s growth in the world of digital video rentals. Shares of Apple, it should also be noted, only rose $0.19 on a day when equities and, particularly tech stocks, were strong, although it would be inaccurate to pin Apple's flat session entirely on the Facebook announcement.

    Regardless, expectations surrounding Facebook's effort are high. For now, the cost of a Facebook movie rental is 30 Facebook credits - about $3. Once a film is rented, users have 48 hours from the time of purchase to watch it in their browser. Facebook still functions as usual - 'poking,' 'liking,' etc. - throughout the the rental period. To that end, Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Bros., says that “Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people,” said 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.”

    Only time will tell if - and how - Facebook's new venture will impact Apple and its peers in the realm of digital content.

    Source: All Things Digital
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