With the recent purchase of Flixster by Warner Bros., the film studio will come up to speed with social networking, gaining direct access to information about its audience.
Flixster, a social media movie website with more than 25 million users worldwide, is ranked the top movie app for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry.
At an industry media conference in New York on May 25, Time-Warner CFO John Martin explained how Flixster is key to a long-term plan for managing its digital library, according to entertainment news site The Wrap.
Warner Bros. will, in turn, learn about its customers' viewing habits - film fans who rate films, read about them, discover new movies, and share that information with friends. Also, included in the purchase is Flixster's sister website Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates film reviews for overall ratings.
In the future Flixster could be the interface that allows consumers to plug into the Ultraviolet cloud, an industry-wide application that stores digital content for anywhere-anytime access. Consumers will be able to upload their current DVDs, buy or rent films, see friends' collections, and share their preferences.
Warners is participating in the digital distribution of films on YouTube and rental of films on Facebook. In moving distribution beyond theaters, television and cable networks and retail stores, the film studios are also seeking alternatives such as streaming and as Video-on-Demand.
The cloud process could make ownership, rather than rentals, more appealing again.