CMC Trustee Mike Lang '87, chief executive officer of Miramax, was interviewed on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West" on Sept. 1, talking about Miramax eXperience, the company's just-launched, first digital App on Facebook.
The new venture with Facebook Inc. is the "largest streaming movie endeavor to date," The Wrap reported in late August. Launched in beta after an intense eight-week development period, the cross-platform App allows users to watch free Miramax movie clips, rent movies instantly, and even play a game that lets them cast Facebook friends in roles from Miramax movies, which can unlock bonus features. Rented films can also be accessed on devices such as iPads or GoogleTV.
Lang told Bloomberg's Emily Chang that the streaming application is an "entirely new distribution platform for film content that has been under-exploited, and we just believe it's going to continue to grow.
"The great thing about digital," he added, "is that there aren't any shelf-space constraints or scheduling issues," he said. Watch the eight-minute Bloomberg interview.
Miramax has already licensed its library to digital distributors including Hulu in the U.S. and Japan and Netflix in the U.S. and Latin America. Lang says the studio is keeping video streaming discussions open with a broad range of potential partners. "Everyone is trying to get into the (digital streaming) business, and trying to find the right way to do so through various business models. And we're willing to talk with all of them, not just in the United States, but globally," Lang said. "It's the right time to be looking at these opportunities."
He specifically mentioned an eagerness to leverage Apple's new cloud technology and Google's Android platform. "Our ultimate goal," Lang has said, "is to give consumers the opportunity to buy films and store them in their own cloud-based digital lockerto then access the content anywhere they want, across ALL devices. Yes, that's rightany PC, smartphone, tablet, or TV, whether at home, on the go, on vacation, etc."
During his Bloomberg interview, the Miramax CEO said what people may underestimate about Facebook is the leverage of the social graphthe ability for consumers to share the content with friends, to communicate about the content.
He was amazed, he said, to discover just how many of the social network's users mention Miramax films in their user profiles. "We thought (Facebook) would come back with a number between 500,000 and a million people. And it was 50 million," Lang said. "We think that's an audience that we can talk directly to," he said, and provide valuable information about the Miramax brand and content.