VOD on Facebook Gets Unliked and Unfriended

By Steve Anderson August 23, 2012

There's no denying that Facebook is a downright juggernaut when it comes to social media. With more than half a billion members around the planet, that's one big market to reach with everything from products to services to games and then some.

Oddly enough, despite a brief experiment in the matter recently, most of Facebook's enormous slew of friends isn't in the least interested in having video on demand services available on Facebook.

A recent webcast suggested over half of Facebook users with broadband connectivity would not pay $1.99 to access recent movies via social networking website. A meager 12 percent said they would, if given a 48 hour window in which to access the film. The percentages stayed the same when the price of $2.99 came up, but when $3.99 came into view, the folks refusing the opportunity entirely went to 58 percent.

At $4.99, it hit 60 percent, and only 10 percent were game.

Considering that so far, only about 15 movies have been made available under Facebook's video on demand service since the concept started up in earnest back in March of 2011, at least one reason is clear why there's little interest in the service. But the prices certainly aren't helping, and in general, as Pietro Macchiarella of Parks Associates said, “Users just don't want to pay and are not very interested in accessing movies on social networks.”

Concerns about privacy and the overall technical experience of accessing video through a browser round out the reasons perceived behind Facebook's lack of presence in video.

Sure, Facebook is a huge market for people to get together and talk about movies, but let's be honest: there are a lot of streaming video sources out there already for movies. The prices and selection are often much better in those other places, and have specific measures in place to ensure that the video presentation is at its best.

Yet of those responding, at least 35 percent had watched a movie solely because someone recommended it to them, and 12 percent said a Facebook recommendation drove a viewing for them.

Social media is a great place to learn about things from people who have done them, eaten them, watched them or played them, but from the look of things, it's not necessarily a great place to do those things that they find out about via social media.

Media companies in turn are using social media as a means to promote things to do elsewhere, and are finding some success on that front.

Social media should not struggle to be all things to all people, but rather work to make its primary function – connecting with other people – the best it can be. Better privacy protections, easier access to friends – old and new – and less concern about losing a job over what's said would be welcome for many. Streaming video just isn't on the list.

Edited by Braden Becker

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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