UK Facebook users will soon be able to watch films and TV via the site, following a deal with Hollywood studio Miramax.
The deal is the largest Facebook streaming movie venture yet, and signals the social network’s ambitions to become an all-in-one destination for users.
Called Miramax eXperience, the program is opening with 20 titles for rent in the US, and 10 each in the UK and Turkey, with launches planned in France and Germany in the near future.
The service lets users watch on their computers, iPads and Google TVs.
The movies cost 30 Facebook credits, or $3 (£1.80). While the rental is active for 30 days, you users have 48 hours to complete a movie once they start it.
The films chosen for the launch of Miramax eXperience on Facebook will be available through September, although titles will cycle on and off the list depending on rights.
Miramax CEO Mike Lang, in explaining why Facebook was the chosen platform and not a Miramax streaming website, said, “We wanted to fish where the fish are. We could have created the most robust Miramax.com in the world and other than my family members, who would be there?” He also added that Miramax has a long way to go to make its streaming technology and service interoperable on other platforms. “Part of it for me,” he said, “is that the current model of content for digital doesn’t work. It’s a bad consumer proposition. Consumers aren’t sure how to use it and own it. It’s a very kludgy experience for them.”
Lang added that he wanted a social element in the Miramax rental experience. The Facebook setup includes a game in which users can cast their friends in various roles.
In addition, BBC Worldwide has signed up to the same platform on Facebook, selling episodes of its Top Gear show through the social networking site.