Warner Bros., Facebook Unveil Streaming Movie Service

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Warner Bros. and Facebook are teaming up to offer streaming movies for rent on the social networking giant, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Facebook users of "The Dark Knight" can stream the movie straight from its Facebook fan page -- for a fee, of course. It'll cost 30 Facebook credits, or $3, to rent the movie from Warner Bros. for 48 hours. The film streams from an application Warner Bros. built specifically for Facebook, and can be watched full-screen.

The application allows users to have full Facebook functionality while they're watching the film (just in case someone wants to update their status with "OMG, TOTALLY WATCHING THE DARK KNIGHT ON FACEBOOK RIGHT NOW"). The Hollywood Reporter says that the movie can be "paused and resumed" within the 48-hour period, but doesn't specify whether viewers will be able to watch the movie more than once.

"Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people," Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, said in a press release. "Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts. It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world's largest social network."

While "The Dark Knight" is certainly a popular movie, I'm not sure how well this pricing structure is going to work out for Facebook. After all, $3 for a movie isn't exactly a great deal when you can rent it on iTunes for the same price for 30 days (though you have 24 hours to finish the movie once you've started watching it), or as part of a Netflix package for $10 per month.

Warner Bros. says "The Dark Knight" is just a test offering, and more movies available for both "rental and purchase" will be rolling out in the next few months. I'm not sure what "for purchase" will mean, but hopefully it won't mean that you'll be able to stream a movie unlimitedly ... from a Facebook page.

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