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IGN To Acquire Rotten Tomatoes Movie SiteSynergy between games, movies and DVDs boon for advertisers (June 29, 2004)
IGN Entertainment, a leading Internet media company serving the games and entertainment enthusiast markets, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Rotten Tomatoes (http://www.rottentomatoes.com), a premier destination site for movie and DVD buyers, from the most casual enthusiasts to the most die-hard film buffs. The acquisition will add a key movie and DVD-oriented property to IGN's existing entertainment portfolio and will further strengthen the company's ability to deliver the coveted 18 to 34-year-old demographic to its advertisers.
Rotten Tomatoes will be IGN Entertainment's third acquisition in the past 12 months, following on the footsteps of the company's acquisitions of GameSpy Industries and TeamXbox. The transaction represents a step towards broadening IGN's coverage of the movie and DVD markets, which are similar in demographics and buying power to the video and PC games markets reached by IGN's other flagship sites.
"Rotten Tomatoes will add tremendous depth and complementary value to IGN's existing portfolio of movie and DVD coverage on IGN's FilmForce. Hardcore movie buffs and casual fans alike will be able to get the information they want on virtually any movie or DVD," said Mark Jung, CEO of IGN Entertainment. "By adding the Rotten Tomatoes audience to the movie and DVD buyers we already reach, we'll be able to offer even more value to our entertainment, games and general consumer advertisers."
Rotten Tomatoes' addition to IGN Entertainment's portfolio will also increase the size of the key demographic audience the company already offers advertisers. According to comScore Media Metrix, Rotten Tomatoes reached a worldwide audience of 5.2 million in May, 2004, and, when combined with other IGN properties, reached in that same month an unduplicated audience of 22.9 million.*
Rotten Tomatoes' CEO Patrick Lee is delighted to be joining forces with IGN Entertainment. "We are thrilled to be teaming up with an organization that really does online entertainment content right and shares so many of our company values," Lee said. "Rotten Tomatoes is all about providing the best entertainment content to its users. IGN shares the same mission." IGN's acquisition of Rotten Tomatoes will offer new opportunities for the game publishers, consumer product companies and Hollywood studios that already advertise on the media company's online properties.
"The fact that Rotten Tomatoes' audience is more mass market than the audience of IGN's game properties broadens our offering to all of our advertising customers," explains Jung. "For our entertainment advertisers, we will be expanding our audience of movie and film enthusiasts. For our game industry customers, we will be providing reach to mass-market gamers. Our consumer product advertisers will get more reach to a key age group whose use of other media is declining. We also will be growing our female audience - nearly half the traffic to Rotten Tomatoes is young women.
"Actually, the acquisition is a good demonstration of how IGN is applying our expertise in amassing vertical content, which we honed in the gaming field, to another key digital entertainment market segment - movies and DVDs," Jung added.
The transaction is expected to close within the next few weeks. In a related move, the company has decided to stop using the IGN/GameSpy moniker and is reverting back to its legal corporate name, IGN Entertainment, which better reflects the breadth of the company's entertainment media holdings.
About Rotten Tomatoes
Started by a movie enthusiast, Rotten Tomatoes has become one of the leading destinations for both casual movie-goers and film buffs. Rotten Tomatoes' editors collect and index the reactions of the nation's top print and online film critics as well as offering a variety of related integrated services, including streaming movie trailers, movie show times, an image database of official movie posters and celebrity photos, and a price comparison service for DVDs. The site has information on more than 100,000 movie titles and offers 500,000 review links in its ever-growing database. Reviews are neatly summed up on Rotten Tomatoes' trademarked "Tomatometer" index as "Rotten" or "Fresh."
About IGN Entertainment
IGN Entertainment provides many of the Internet's leading destinations for gaming, entertainment and community targeted at teens and 18-34 year-old males. The company's properties include IGN.com, GameSpy.com, FilePlanet.com, GameSpyArcade.com, TeamXbox.com, more than 70 community sites and a vast array of online forums. IGN Entertainment is also a leading provider of technology for online game play in video games. The company's paid content, download and game play services are among the most popular game-related subscriptions available on the Internet. The privately-held company has its headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, with offices throughout the U.S.
* comScore Media Metrix 2.0 reports RottenTomatoes.com to have worldwide reach of 5.176 million unique visitors in May 2004, and a total unduplicated audience between RottenTomatoes.com and IGN Entertainment (formerly IGN/GameSpy) properties of 22.899 million. comScore Media Metrix worldwide data cited herein represent an aggregate of 32 countries reported on a monthly basis.
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