Social Media sites to be new hotspots in viewing films and video content

As part of a semester assignment of my MC 4971 Digital Branding course at Louisiana State University, I have to follow several major entities and discuss their digital presence. One of my subjects is the media giant Time Warner, Inc.

All around the country, less amounts of people have ventured out to theaters. Time Warner's Warner Bros. tries to combat the decline by introducing films on social media sites. COURTESY OF Chuck1231

These days, theaters are almost as dead as the zombies that used to fill their screens. One way many entertainment companies have tried to accommodate this recent trend is by introducing streaming content on social media sites. Warner Bros. led the way last year with the introduction of rental services on Facebook for their two mega-blockbusters “The Dark Knight” and “Inception.”

Now, Warner Bros. and Sony Entertainment are backing this new service, FlickMe, which will launch over 1,000 films into renting circulation with Facebook and Twitter integration capabilities. This means that social media users will be able to rent these movies through Facebook and Twitter, making the process more personal and allowing people to interact with the content more, said Mitch Galbraith,  chairman and CEO of FlickMe.

This type of media integration is more on par with the whole “media everywhere” initiative to which many digital branding professionals have alluded — most notably at the Cannes Lions 2011 Creative Festival.

The most interesting aspect of this whole thing is that recommending that your friends watch a film give you a discount on renting it. I think this part of the whole model is ingenious. I know MANY college students who would update their Facebook statuses for a 50 percent discount on rentals… (Is it sad I know people who would do that?)

FlickMe’s strategy makes sense. People always recommend films after watching them; people love to rent movies and watch them in the privacy of their homes; people love to watch movies with friends. FlickMe has accounted for all of this.

This is a great move for Warner, since it shows how they are willing to experiment with new opportunities. It also means they are not afraid of failing miserably if this venture blows up in their face. It’s a brave move that lets people believe Time Warner has nothing to worry about in this terrible economy. Hopefully people will view this as a sign of strength and back the media conglomerate.

Something like this will hopefully be the temporary CPR needed to resuscitate the dying movie business. I’m glad that Time Warner is all up in this. Here’s hoping this new social media integration will work!

Original article, as featured on Yahoo! News: Here