Facebook as a distribution channel

Today Warner Brothers continues its partnership with Facebook to release movies via the film’s FB page. Each movie will be $3 a pop and will be available for 48 hours after the purchase is made.

I am trying to envision the experience of watching a movie through FB, and it definitely seems like an odd experience right now, but as penetration of Internet-enabled TV’s and streaming adapters become wider, using primary web channels like FB will become more common and comfortable. I’m still trying to get used to streaming films through Apple TV, and dealing with the connection issues it presents, more often than I’d like, but nothing will outdo the convenience.

The social impact of FB being a distribution channel is likely to be huge, even though only time will tell exactly how consumers and marketers will actually use it. On the obvious side, content will gain huge momentum via WOM and FB’s sharing tools. Less obvious effects will likely revolve around the ways movies and shows are marketed and the overall release cycle. Will the viewing experience through the web become so positive that users are less likely to go to the theater, and therefore making the theater cycle become shorter and shorter? Will video conferencing services like Skype and Face Time enter the business, allowing people to watch movies “together” even though they’re 1000 miles apart? Should be interesting.

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