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"The Dark Knight" will be the first Warner Bros. film available on Facebook  (Source: entertainmentwallpaper.com)
Warner Bros. movies can be purchased using Facebook Credits

Warner Bros. announced Tuesday that it will be offering some of its films on Facebook, which can be purchased using Facebook Credits. 

Up until now, subscription-based internet streaming services like Netflix have dominated this particular market. But even Netflix, who has Hollywood film executives scared of its potential with over 20 million subscribers and content available on more than 200 internet-based platforms and devices, should be wary of the new Warner-Facebook project. Facebook has a 500-million-member network, and according to Ingrid Chung, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, this new model could pose as a threat to Netflix in the future.

"The 'wisdom of friends' could be a bigger driver of movie viewership than the 'wisdom of crowds,'" said Chung.

The new Warner-Facebook project will offer select full-length Warner Bros. films to users for a price of 30 Facebook Credits, or $3. Facebook credits are virtual currency that can be obtained through social games on the site. Over 400 applications and games on the site use Facebook Credits, and once 30 credits are collected, a user has the option to purchase a Warner Bros. film, which can be watched over a 48-hour period. The movie can even be paused and restarted when the Facebook member logs back in.

Warner Bros. movies will be available on Facebook, but this does not mean the film company and the social networking site are engaged in a partnership. Warner Bros. used Facebook's open payment and technology standards to develop an application on its own. 

"We're open to developers and partners that want to experiment using credits in new and interesting ways, and we look forward to seeing what they come up with," said Facebook in a statement.

Barton Crockett, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets, also noted that this new new Warner-Facebook application is a "far cry from Facebook launching a subscription service." It is strictly a pay-per-view service, and it is currently unclear if other movie studios will be creating Facebook applications as well. 

The first Warner Bros. movie available on Facebook will be "The Dark Knight," and the application will initially be accessible to those in the United States. 




"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser



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