Former Disney studio Miramax is following those two companies onto Facebook with the launch of a Miramax app – the Miramax eXperience – for the social networking giant that will allow Facebook users to rent, and eventually buy, movies through the site.
According to Miramax, there are more than 50 million Facebook users who either mention a Miramax movie on their profile – with cult favorites like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Gangs of New York and Trainspotting in their library, that’s not exactly surprising – or are Facebook fans of the studio or one of its projects or talents. A perfect environment and opportunity, then, for the studio to grow not only that number, but its digital reach.
What makes Miramax’s app more interesting is that it’s apparently not relying on the VoD rental model that Warners and the BBC have established. In the blog post announcing the app, the beta nature of the current app is played up, using the movie industry as a touchstone:
“[N]otice the word beta. I know you don’t hear that word a lot from movie studios. Usually we premiere a film after working on it for years, see how it does over a weekend or two and then move on to the next project — for those in the technology world this must sound like a crazy business…”
The ultimate aim for Miramax’s global strategy, as it’s explained, is something that might seem a little familiar to many people:
“[O]ur ultimate goal is to give consumers the opportunity to buy films and store them in their own cloud-based digital locker — to then access the content anywhere they want, across ALL devices. Yes, that’s right — any PC, smartphone, tablet or TV, whether at home, on the go, on vacation, etc.”
To this end, the studio has also created a “Miramax eXperience” app for the iPad, and suggests that other industry peers “join us in this vision.” It sounds a little bit much, admittedly, but Miramax is a former Disney studio. If this app proves successful enough for Disney to launch similar programs for its current studios, then this really could be the start of something big.
[Update: An earlier version of this story stated that Miramax was still owned by Disney; the studio was actually sold by Disney at the end of last year. Apologies for any confusion caused by my own confusion.]
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.