Online Movie Rental Site Prescreen Relaunches With Facebook Integration

The site, which hopes to accelerate its growth with the social network relationship, says it is the only pure movie site offering such an integration in the U.S.

NEW YORK - Online movie rental and marketing platform Prescreen has relaunched with a new social movie discovery experience integrated with Facebook.
The integration takes advantage of the social network's Open Graph platform and allows users of Prescreen, which showcases long-form content via its streaming video-on-demand service, to discover and share movies with friends ever more seamlessly. Prescreen, which hopes to accelerate its growth with the Facebook relationship, says it is the only pure movie site approved for such an integration in the U.S.
"It is a big opportunity," said Prescreen founder and CEO Shawn Bercuson, a former Groupon executive. "We hope this will help our organic growth significantly."
Plus, it could make Prescreen an even more attractive partner for content providers as Facebook is "a natural fit, and they have the reach," he said.
"Content companies have an opportunity to use us as a conduit," Bercuson explained. "Enabling our users to see what movies their friends are interested in, will not only help our users discover more relevant titles, but also build buzz and boost word-of-mouth marketing for content providers."
Prescreen, which had a presence at AFM in November and more recently at Sundance, wants to offer filmmakers and distributors an alternative to traditional ad and distribution channels. It  offers curated content in the form of a daily movie or other piece of long-form content  that users share through social media. Subscribers to a daily email highlighting that day's featured film can watch trailers and rent and stream content on demand, with a film costing $4 on day one and $8 for the rest of a 60-day period. Users can also earn rewards and discounts for sharing movie information on their social networks.
Users can now sign up for free through Facebook Connect to watch trailers from Prescreen¹s curated selection of movies, mark interesting titles by pressing an "add to queue² button and rent on-demand to stream the title if and when they are ready to watch. Users that log into Prescreen via the social network can now share their trailer views and queued movies via their Facebook timeline or news feed. Rental or sales records will not be shared.
Prescreen mainly focuses on harder-to-find movies from film festivals and independents. Bigger-budget films are also likely to appear on the site in pre-theatrical, day-and-date, or direct-to-digital windows in the future, the company predicts.
Bercuson sees the opportunity to use his firm's site as a marketing and research tool. "Prescreen also becomes a great testing ground for content owners to prescreen films as a way to better understand their target market while generating word of mouth marketing at the same time," he said.


Twitter: @georgszalai