The world of online on-demand movies continues to expand this spring with the launch of Fandor, a service that offers a wide selection of independent and international films available to stream. Looking to build on the success of similar services, the niche that Fandor is trying to tap is the independent moviegoer.
The database offers reportedly more than 2,500 films, in all genres, which includes shorts, musicals, silent films, and LGBT cinema. The editors at the site are understanding in that some people may be new to indie films, offering featured selections such as A Talking Picture, Funny Games, and A Winnebago Man. If you are still having trouble getting started, the service also offers a Fandor channel where the curators offer timely and important films on a schedule for easy viewing.
What separates this movie service from others is that it is looking to users and filmmakers to connect via social networks and to use social media to share interests. Visitors to the site are encouraged to log in with Facebook, so friends can what they are watching. Moreover, there are avenues afforded to members in which they can connect to independent movie-makers. Like Netflix, new users may opt for a free trial membership for 30 days, or begin subscribing for $10 per month.
Perhaps the best features of the streaming movie service is the opportunity it for users to promote and share movies. Whereas on Facebook one has to click ‘like,’ or add a title to a list of interests, Fandor goes further. Users are able and encouraged to share favourite clips on Facebook with friends. Instead of a trailer or previously edited segments, any user can scroll through a movie and clip a scene. Its editing at it’s most simple: insert an in and an out, and there one has a clip to share online.
Fandor also offers a blog of sorts. Site writers discuss movies featured in the database, offering commentary, lists, reviews, and critical analyses. Of course users are encouraged to share their own thoughts and opinions.
Currently, the biggest downside of Fandor is that it is only available in the United States-sorry, Canada. If you reside in the U.S. and you are curious, Fandor offers a free viewing of a film if you log in with Facebook.
Fandor will join the ranks of Sony’s Qriosity and Netflix, but this service does not seem to necessarily pose a direct threat to any others, nor should it. If a person is looking to opt for only one movie service, it seems at the moment that the choices are clear. Whereas Sony offers the latest releases and big blockbusters on demand, Fandor caters to the independent film buff. Netflix has a varied database, offering both on demand movies and DVD rentals, combining movies with TV shows, still distinct from Fandor. Even Warner Bros, which recently said it will begin to test distributing movies via Facebook, paid for by Facebook credits, is dissimilar enough. Fandor will arise and find success irregardless of other companies, looking at a market yet catered to by online movie services.