In Miramax's latest attempt to make money off their library digitally (they already have deals with Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and Apple), the company has launched the largest-scale Facebook streaming movie app to-date, not just in the U.S. but in the UK and Turkey as well.
The Miramax eXperience, now live on the world's most popular social networking platform, boasts 20 titles for rent in the U.S. and 10 each in the UK and Turkey. To stream a movie will cost you 30 Facebook credits, equivalent to $3. You have 30 days to watch the film but only a viewing window of 48 hours once you start to watch. [See below for full list of films available in all three countries.]
The app also features a social element: a game that allows people to cast friends in various roles of Miramax movies; that when played, unlocks bonus content.
"Today there are over 50 million friends on Facebook that mention a Miramax film in their profile, interact with our Miramax page, or like the fan pages of beloved Miramax titles and talent," said Miramax CEO Mike Lang in a statement. "Our goal with the Miramax App is to offer consumers a great user experience where they can watch movie clips and feature length films, play games and share the experience with their friends within the Facebook community. And in doing so, we aim to ultimately build our reach to 150 million+ Facebook friends within the next 18 months."
Cinetic Rights Management/FilmBuff's Head of Content Matt Dentler, for one, is a fan.
"The app is interesting because it's an art house studio saying, 'We have a good brand and therefore people will come,'" he told indieWIRE. "It's different, because what you normally see is a distributor going through a retailer (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, iTunes). In this case, they're going straight to the consumer. And the fact that they're doing this multi-territory launch is really exciting, because often times, audiences in other parts of the world don't have access to what the U.S. does."
Miramax says they plan to give consumers the opportunity to buy films and store them in their own cloud-based digital locker, which enables users to access the content across all devices.
Whatever happens, expect to see the app go through a lot of changes (not surprising, given VOD's promising but still unproven track record). The company launched it in beta form after just an 8-week building period to get something out to the public and generate user feedback. Go to their Facebook page to tell them what you think.
Miramax titles available on the Miramax eXperience:
U.S.: "Adventureland," "Chicago," "Clerks," "Cold Mountain," "Extract," "From Dusk Till Dawn," "Gangs of New York," "Gone Baby Gone," "Good Will Hunting," "Jackie Brown," "Kill Bill," "Kill Bill 2," "No Country for Old Men," "Pulp Fiction," "Shall We Dance" (2004), "Sin City," "Spy Kids,"" Swingers," "The Switch," "Trainspotting."
U.K.: "Chicago," "Cold Mountain," "From Dusk Till Dawn," "Good Will Hunting," "Jackie Brown," "Kill Bill," "Kill Bill 2," "Shall We Dance" (2004), "Sin City," Spy Kids."
Turkey: "Adventureland," "Chicago," "Clerks," "Cold Mountain," "From Dusk Till Dawn," "Gone Baby Gone," "Good Will Hunting," "Jackie Brown," "Spy Kids," "Swingers."