It sure seems like the news just keeps getting worse for Netflix; but is it all really that bad? Well, according to recent reports, Universal Pictures is following in the footsteps of Warner Bros. and has announced that they will begin offering movies for rent through social media goliath Facebook.
About a month ago, we learned that Warner Bros. began testing out online movie rentals through Facebook by offering ‘The Dark Knight’ to users for approximately 30 Facebook Credits (or 3 USD). In turn, users could watch the movie in various formats for a 48-hour period and participate in discussions with any friends that may be simultaneously watching the same movie.
Universal Pictures has started by offering the cult-classic The Big Lebowski through the movie’s Facebook page in concurrence with the movie’s official release on Blu-ray earlier this week.
Oddly enough, Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings joined Facebook’s board of directors in June of this year, which raises the question of his ironic involvement with this potential Netflix-killer.
Facebook-Netflix Partnership In The Works?
However many critics are now pointing at the possibility of a Facebook-Netflix partnership as the online streaming giant would be a perfect match for Facebook’s almost 700 million worldwide users. Considering the fact that $3.00 is quite pricey when compared to iTunes’ 30-day for the same price and Netflix’s $8.00 per month for unlimited streaming, “Facebook Rentals” may just be working title for an eventual partnership between the two companies.
In a recent interview Mark Zuckerberg said, “Reed is an entrepreneur and technologist who has led Netflix to transform the way people watch movies and TV…he has built a culture of continuous rapid innovation, something we share and work hard to build every day.” Those gracious and inviting words definitely don’t sound like those of rival and it very well might be in Zuckerberg’s best interest to keep it that way.
Facebook Would Benefit Hugely From Partnership
Hollywood movie studios are infamously uncompromising when it comes to the negotiation of distribution rights and many have failed to reach a deal worthwhile of their efforts (i.e. Google‘s YouTube). On the other hand, Netflix has already established distributions contracts with many of Hollywood’s top movie studios and still make an astounding $789 million in revenue.
Facebook would hugely benefit from all the money and time saved through a partnership with Netflix and studios would surely be more than happy knowing that their films would be exposed to an even larger audience willing to pay the same price.