The American distribution and production company Miramax has just struck a deal with the biggest social networking website, Facebook. Miramax, which was bought by The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), is known for its distribution of foreign and independent films.
The deal reported by paidContent involves the biggest Facebook streaming movie venture seen to date, and will serve as another potentially lucrative outlet from which Miramax can rake in enormous profits from its extensive list of film titles. Facebook has more than 750 million users worldwide, each spending an average of 700 billion minutes each month on the site. With statistics like these its little wonder Facebook is such an attractive advertising platform for companies to integrate their websites, and already to date more than 250 million have done so.
The app movie-streaming app will be called Miramax eXperience and will go live on Facebook with a list of 20 titles for rent in the U.S. and only 10 in the UK and Turkey, due to licensing issues. The app will be launched in Germany and France at a slightly later date.
Users on Facebook can rent the movies for 30 Facebook credits ($3). The rental will be active for 30 days with the viewing window active for 48 hours from the time the user begins to watch. Miramax however, is not the first with this kind of idea. Paramount, Warner Bros and Universal are all going down the same route with similar ideas.
Miramax CEO Mike Lang thinks of it as Miramax as an umbrella brand for a wide range of movie titles instead of the existing single franchise apps. Miramax already has some streaming VOD with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and an electronic-sell-thru deal with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Lang also insisted on a social aspect on the app. The Miramax eXperience will include a game that allows users to cast their Facebook friends in various roles in all of the available movies. They can unlock bonus content as they play that wouldn’t otherwise be visible.
Facebook’s Dan Rose is very prudent about not expressing favoritism between movie apps. He said, “We’re talking to all the movie studios. One of the things that Miramax approached us about was the notion of being able to buy on Facebook and watch on other platforms. We can be the identity platform behind that type of experience.”
But Rose is also exercising extreme caution on the idea of Facebook move rentals or Facebook as a video viewing destination adding, “It’s still early. These are experiments on the platform.”
Only time will tell.
Contact the Author: MikeStringer@ArtsandEntertainmentPlayground.com