With Amazon.com recently launching a 5,000-title streaming service through Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus gobbling up exclusives like selections from the Criterion Collection (150 titles now, 800+ later), the competition to loosen Netflix’s grip on the streaming market has intensified greatly within the past couple of months. It’s been no secret that Hollywood studios are unhappy with Netflix and have been looking for alternative ways to
suck consumers dry bring their magnificent product directly to the public. To that end, Warner Brothers has introduced a new Facebook application that allows users to stream from the popular social networking site. Users pay for the movies with Facebook Credits, and a rental costs 30 credits or $3. Alternately, they can also use 30 tickets from a SkeeBall machine. (Scratch that last one. We’re told that’s only enough for a plastic comb.)
The first title available on the Warner Brothers Entertainment Page on Facebook is The Dark Knight, and other catalog titles will follow in the coming months. The $3 rental gets users 48 hours to watch the film, and allows them to pause and restart whenever they log in. The caveats? 1. This is not a partnership with Facebook but a Warner Brothers application. 2. Facebook is not launching a subscription service a la Amazon or Hulu. In any case, news of the deal sent Netflix’s stock reeling on Nasdaq today, where it dipped 5.8 percent lower to $195.45 per share.
So, are you clicking “like” on this arrangement? No, you probably aren’t.