Why Aren’t Movie Studios Backing This Social Network?

With big budgets and fewer movies coming to theaters, social network MovieLaLa proposes to help studios find their audience.

May 18, 2014 at 8:15AM

A new social network for movie aficionados could help movie studios find their audiences faster, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

Known as MovieLaLa, the service proposes to connect would-be audience members with movies they might like to see. Those who connect via Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) can share content and invite friends to nearby shows. The Hollywood Reporter says there's also an "icebreaker" feature that allows like-minded fans to find each other and organize an outing.

So far the product is only available on the iPad. Early investors include salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) chief Marc Benioff and Machinima co-founder Allen DeBevoise. Yet the bigger question, Tim says, is why studios aren't backing the app.

Every major outfit is producing fewer movies than than they were just a few years ago. Sony (NYSE:SNE) is among the latest to scale back, putting more resources into the handful of films that have genuine franchise potential. The Amazing Spider-Man films, for example.

While that strategy no doubt preserves capital in the short term, the risk is higher. One major flop can punish studio profits for a quarter or more. MovieLaLa offers a defense in the form of early access and special promotions for enthusiasts who might help to build buzz.

Either way, Tim says MovieLaLa's arrival signals a more deliberate attempt to market films outside of TV ads and the festival circuit. Media stock investors would do well to follow its progress.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you see social media success leading to box office success? Would you want to see a major studio you're invested in putting money into MoveLaLa or another service like it? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple and Salesforce.com at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Facebook, and Salesforce.com. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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