Volta brings video-on-demand indie and arthouse cinema to Facebook

17 Sep 2012

Dublin-headquartered video-on-demand firm Volta has launched a new social viewing Facebook app that lets Facebook users stream, share, gift and rate independent movies within their Facebook accounts.

Volta’s Maria Heffernan explained that Volta is spearheading a transactional rather than subscription model, allowing social media users to pay for the content via PayPal via the new app. She confirmed that the company is looking into Facebook Credits as a future platform.

“We are focused on independent and arthouse movies tailored for the Irish market. We started out in January offering streaming via our website and sharing movie content from inside a user’s Facebook page is an exciting next step in our evolution.”

She explained that the company is working with local distributors, like Momentum and Revolver, to bring Irish movies directly into Facebook.

Volta evolved out of an online initiative at Element Pictures and brings a huge catalogue of recent independent titles, which haven’t been shown outside arthouse cinemas in Dublin, to all broadband connected homes in Ireland.

The social viewing app allows film fans to instantly stream titles from the Volta catalogue while logged into their Facebook accounts. A central feature allows users to share films with their friends and make a rental purchase as a gift for a friend. App users can discover and choose films in many ways: tailored lists based on titles previously viewed by their friends, the most popular titles among the Volta Facebook community and also films based on the user’s current ‘likes’ and interests on Facebook.

Heffernan explained that Volta is part of a pan-European organisation of video-on-demand (VoD) platforms called Euro VoD united in the objective of bringing a large selection of Irish, UK, French, Italian, Spanish and German films to an appreciative online audience.

She said the plan is to develop the new Facebook channels for mobile devices, like smartphones and tablet computers.

“One of the major features of the Volta Facebook app is we often have films on Volta on the same day that they are released in the cinemas.

“The beauty of this is there are lots of people in Ireland who love independent and arthouse movies but just don’t live in proximity to the IFI or the Lighthouse cinemas (in Dublin) and this lets them catch the latest movies in a timely way,” Heffernan said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years