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Warner, Sony Back New Social Networking Movie Download Service

30 Aug, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Upstart movie rental and electronic sellthrough platform launched Aug. 30, featuring thousands of catalog titles from Warner Bros. Digital Distribution and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

San Mateo, Calif.-based Flickme separates itself from the transactional VOD field by incorporating users’ social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter into its platform. New users can create memberships and log on through their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

More importantly, new users can share their movie rental discounts with up to 10 social network friends.

Home entertainment studios increasingly believe movie rentals and sellthrough can be promoted and influenced through social media. Specifically, word-of-mouth on a movie via chat rooms, blogs and email threads can greatly influence a title’s performance at retail.

It is this belief that prompted Warner Bros. to recently acquire online movie recommendation site .

“Fans sharing discounts with friends is a great way to get groups of people watching the same movie around the same time,” said Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. “This opens the door for social interactions that greatly enrich the digital movie watching experience.”

Warner, Sony and other studios also offer select catalog titles for rent directly on Facebook, payable by credit card or Facebook credits.

“Social networks are already a tremendously important marketing tool, but [Flickme.com] goes one step further to harness the power of social media for distribution by getting fans engaged in recommending titles after the initial studio marketing campaign,” said John Calkins, EVP of global digital and commercial innovation at SPHE.

Flickme was founded in early 2011 by entrepreneurs Mitch Galbraith and Mark Smallcombe. The pair received funding from Sequoia Capital, the same venture firm that funded Google, Apple, YouTube and Linkedin.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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