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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Warner Brothers Testing Movie Rental Market Via Facebook and App Store

Warner Brothers said on Tuesday that it would be making Heath Ledger's final film appearance, "The Dark Knight", available for rental via Facebook using Facebook Credits as the payment mechanism.

“This is definitely a test,” said Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Brothers Digital Distribution, in a telephone interview. 

Warner is also testing “App Editions” for “The Dark Knight” and “Inception.” Rather than gaining access through iTunes, consumers download a free app, which then allows them to buy the movies for unlimited streaming.  “This platform allows us to experiment with an early version of what you might call a ‘connected movie’ — the ability for us to offer new extras over time as updates,” Mr. Gewecke said. “We think that is a great way to add more value to the digital ownership experience,” he added.

Of note is the fact that 23 countries do not have access to the iTunes video store, so the App Editions provides Warner with a mechanism to sell it's films in those markets which include China and Russia.

Source: NYTimes