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Facebook renting movies

"The Dark Knight" on Facebook.

TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: Here's your semi-regular update on the ever-expanding Facebook economy. There was news this morning that Warner Bros. is going to be the first studio to stream its films over the king of social networks. Warner's offering a 48-hour rental of "The Dark Knight," the latest in the Batman franchise. The price is 30 Facebook credits, $3 to you and me.

Marketplace's Steve Henn reports it's just another dip into the pot of gold for Facebook, but a potential nightmare for Netflix.


Steve Henn: If I ran Netflix, I would be slightly sick to my stomach right now. Six hundred million Facebook users can stream "The Dark Knight" online right now. But if they want to watch that movie on Netflix, they have to wait for a DVD to come through the mail.

"The Dark Knight": I have a vision of the world without Batman.

Netflix has a vision of a world without DVDs, where all movies are streamed online, ideally using a Netflix subscription. The company already has thousands of titles you can watch this way. But the big studios won't let Netflix stream the really good stuff. They're still nervous that one company could dominate the online business.

So that's why Warner Bros. approached to Facebook to stream "The Dark Knight." The deal couldn't be simpler -- Facebook takes 30 percent of each download.

Atul Bagga: I think for studios definitely the model is appealing.

Atul Bagga is an analyst at Think Equity. He says Facebook doesn't have anything that resembles an online movie store yet, but:

Bagga: We have already seen Facebook has caused a big disruption in the gaming world.

Social games on Facebook, like Farmville, have taken off while game consoles like Sony's Playstation are struggling.

Justin Smith runs the site Inside Facebook.

Justin Smith: Whenever Facebook starts experimenting with a new product and a new market, I think all the companies -- particularly the leaders, like Netflix -- should pay close attention.

Warner Bros. is describing "The Dark Knight" rental deal as a test, but executives there say if this works, they will also try selling movies on Facebook.

In Silicon Valley, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.
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I doubt Netflix is quaking in its boots. It has a huge jump on all the competition and has many advantages over the Facebook proposition.

Let's mention two:

•Unlike Facebook, Netflix charges nothing extra for streaming movies. Once the monthly subscription is paid, the customer may watch as many movies as he or she wants absolutely free.

•And equallly important, with Netflix streaming movies, you're not limited to watching on your computer monitor. Netflix movies stream directly to the customer's television through various devices including the Roku box and several electronic game consoles.

Congratulations, Facebook! You finally found a profit model! Too bad your competition has much more planning and experience with it, actually makes a profit, and is a publicly traded company; all the things you wish you could be.

I am very pleased to read about the new feature of Facebook. I think this practice will helps to stop or resist the movie piracy because now the user can watch their favorite movie through Facebook and in a legal way. I appreciate the effort for Facebook that they know how to lead the hearts of users.
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I've seen gift cards for Facebook credits at the supermarket, so you could get them that way if you don't want to give your credit card number to Facebook directly.

Where would you buy facebook credits with facebook's security history it may be hard to convince anyone to give them their cedit card number.
I personal do subscribe to netflix and $10 a month to use when I have time better than $3 and only 2 days per movie but the special features not working on DVDs makes the ones from the mail suck.
Without monthly subscription it is compeating with Amazon rather than Netflix

Where would you buy facebook credits with facebook's security history it may be hard to convince anyone to give them their cedit card number.
I personal do subscribe to netflix and $10 a month to use when I have time better than $3 and only 2 days per movie but the special features not working on DVDs makes the ones from the mail suck.
Without monthly subscription it is compeating with Amazon rather than Netflix

Where would you buy facebook credits with facebook's security history it may be hard to convince anyone to give them their cedit card number.
I personal do subscribe to netflix and $10 a month to use when I have time better than $3 and only 2 days per movie but the special features not working on DVDs makes the ones from the mail suck.
Without monthly subscription it is compeating with Amazon rather than Netflix

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