Published on May 4th, 2011 | by simeon0
Warner Bros to Aquire Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes
Got this news in this morning and while I like the Flixter part I have to say I am concerned about Rotten Tomatoes. My thoughts are that it is unwise to have a film studio control a major film review site that is a large part of scoring films and is one that is often cited by fans prior to seeing a film.
If Warner Bros releases are panned by the critics, then wont Warner be temted to move mainly positive films to the front page so people see more positive and negative reviews? Also, wont critics who often pan Warners efforts find themselves unable to add their vote the the Tomatometer rankings or possibly forced off the site completely?
I think that in order for reviews to be fair, honest, and unbiased, we have to remove the film studio from the equation as there are those who will attempt to gain favor by pandering to Warner Bros films, and with so many millions invested, it only stands to reason that Warner Bros may be tempted to cherry pick positive reviews as a good score on the meter can help a film while a bad score can hurt the all important box office.
Press release is below…
WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT GROUP TO ACQUIRE FLIXSTER
COMPANY WILL CONTINUE TO OPERATE INDEPENDENTLY AND SERVE AS CONSUMER-FACING PLATFORM FOR WARNER BROS.’ INITIATIVES TO DRIVE DIGITAL CONTENT OWNERSHIP
ACQUISITION INCLUDES POPULAR “ROTTEN TOMATOES” MOVIE REVIEW SITE
BURBANK, Calif., May 4, 2011 – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group today announced an agreement to acquire Flixster, a highly popular movie discovery application company with over 25 million worldwide users per month. The acquisition also includes Rotten Tomatoes, a top website devoted to film reviews, information and news. Under the terms of the deal, Flixster will continue to operate independently and will expand its services beyond movie discovery to enable digital content ownership and delivery across any connected digital device.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group will utilize the powerful Flixster brand and technical expertise to launch a number of initiatives designed to grow digital content ownership, including the recently announced consumer application “Digital Everywhere.” This studio-agnostic application will be the ultimate destination for consumers to organize and access their entire digital library from anywhere on the device of their choice, as well as to share recommendations and discover new content. The Flixster acquisition and “Digital Everywhere,” combined with the Studio’s support of the UltraViolet format are all part of an overall strategy to give consumers even more freedom, utility and value for their digital purchases.
“Driving the growth of digital ownership is a central, strategic focus for Warner Bros.,” said Kevin Tsujihara, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Office of the President, Warner Bros. Entertainment. “The acquisition of Flixster will allow us to advance that strategy and promote initiatives that will help grow digital ownership.”
Flixster is currently the number one movie discovery application on mobile platforms with over 35 million downloads to date, including Android, Blackberry and iPad, and ranks among the most downloaded of all iPhone apps. Rotten Tomatoes is one of the most trusted and influential brands in movie reviews with over 12 million unique visitors per month. Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes will remain fully independent. The Flixster team will stay in San Francisco and the Rotten Tomatoes team will continue to work autonomously in Los Angeles.
“We’re thrilled that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group shares our vision for how ‘anytime, anywhere’ digital entertainment can become an amazing user experience,” said Joe Greenstein, co-founder and CEO of Flixster. “We’re excited that Warner was willing to make this kind of commitment to a leading independent consumer platform. We look forward to working with Warner as well as each of the other studios to innovate and build products that users will love.”
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has been the consistent change leader in the home entertainment arena. It is a founding member of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), which is launching UltraViolet™ this year. UltraViolet will provide cloud-based storage and give consumers the ability to watch digital entertainment across multiple platforms such as connected TVs, PCs, game consoles and smartphones. And as the market leader in video-on-demand and electronic sell-through, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group recently became the first studio to distribute films directly to consumers via apps on Apple’s iOS platform and Facebook.