VMIX Unveils Technology to Rent Videos on Facebook, Watch on a Variety of Web Devices

San Diego-based VMIX says today it is offering video rentals on Facebook. Its technology enables users to watch movies, TV programs, and other video on the social networking site—or on a smartphone, tablet, PC, or Internet-connected television.

VMIX, a six-year-old startup that provides a technology platform for video streaming and content management, says VMIX Social is the first product to offer studios and distributors a turnkey solution that provides live and on-demand video rentals on social platforms like Facebook. The product is designed to help media companies to boost their sales through social networks by allowing them to use Facebook fan pages to promote and rent their videos.

The move reflects the broader strategy that Pat Burns adopted when he joined VMIX as CEO last May. It’s also part of a major emerging trend in online video and entertainment, as studios, networks, and content owners seek to extend their distribution to platforms like Facebook and the Apple iPad.

VMIX was previously focused more narrowly on providing its technology platform to media partners, including newspapers, broadcast media companies, NASA, Penguin Books, and Toyota-Scion. The company has raised a total of $26 million in venture funding from four firms, Mission Ventures, Enterprise Partners Venture Capital, JK&B Capital, and ATA Ventures.

VMIX co-founder and CTO Greg Kostello was unavailable to discuss details. In the statement released by the company today, he says key aspects of the VMIX Social product include:

—Integration with social-commerce engines to keep transactions and consumers in Facebook, encouraging easy and wide social distribution.

—Live and on-demand video streaming direct to Facebook fan pages and any Internet-connected device.

—Control of video rights management and distribution.

—Interactive video templates and galleries for promoting content on Facebook.

VMIX actually isn’t the first company to offer video rentals on Facebook. Warner Bros. took that title earlier this month when it announced that Facebook users would be able to rent a streaming version of director Christopher Nolan’s Batman movie, “The Dark Knight,” using Facebook credits. This week Warner added four more titles to its Facebook lineup, including Inception, the first two Harry Potter movies, Yogi Bear and Life As We Know It. But VMIX’s platform is designed to let any movie studio or media company reach Facebook’s huge audience, which now exceeds 600 million people worldwide.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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