REDMOND, Wash., and LOS ANGELES — Feb. 5, 2009 — MSN and BermanBraun Interactive today announced the beta launch of their much-anticipated site Wonderwall (www.wonderwall.com), an innovative entertainment and celebrity content destination. Wonderwall offers people an engaging and visually dynamic perspective on the day’s hottest pop culture stories, personalities and trends.
The Wall utilizes horizontal scrolling that emulates the feeling of flipping through a favorite magazine. Filled with the latest celebrity information, photos, videos and features, Wonderwall.com presents its topics with an authentic and smart attitude, using a bold and inventive new design featuring a wall of photos and graphics.
Alex Blagg, former founding editor of VH1’s “Best Week Ever” blog, has been tapped as lead editor of Wonderwall. Blagg brings with him award-winning experience from VH1, where he won two consecutive Webby awards for Best Celebrity/Fan Site. Blagg has also been a featured panelist on FOX News and Sirius Satellite Radio, and his writing has appeared in many online and print publications, including The Huffington Post, Spin magazine and Gawker.com.
“Wonderwall offers a clever, thought-provoking and amusing voice to fans of celebrity and is a great addition to MSN’s portfolio of entertainment content,” said Rob Bennett, general manager of Network Programming for MSN. “Partnering with BermanBraun helps us deliver this unique experience and original and refreshing perspective. We believe Wonderwall will strike a chord with people that will have them laughing out loud and coming back for more.”
Eighty-four percent of people on the Internet in the U.S. visit an entertainment site every month, making the entertainment category one of the most popular categories, over social networking, games, travel, news/information, or even retail online sites.1 The entertainment gossip category continues to grow rapidly, increasing 14 percent in the last year alone.2 Entertainment fans also spend the most time online of any other category.3 Today, entertainment is among the most popular content on MSN along with news and sports, and interest continues to increase. MSN will offer Wonderwall in conjunction with its current MSN Entertainment offering, which already receives more than 19 million unique users every month.4
“We saw an exciting opportunity to aggregate and program MSN’s celebrity/pop culture content in a dynamic and visually arresting way,” BermanBraun partners Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun said in a joint statement. “We are thrilled to work with MSN in bringing our new online destination to its vast audience and advertising partners.”
Wonderwall is accessible at www.wonderwall.com, as well as through the MSN home page and in editorial programming across the MSN network, including MSN Entertainment. Through Wonderwall’s partnership with MediaVest, major brands such as Kraft-Crystal Light have signed up as initial advertisers.
BermanBraun is an independent media company whose three divisions – television, feature film and new media – seek to create and exploit entertainment content and advertising solutions across all platforms. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company, founded by principals Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun in January 2007, has established strategic global alliances throughout the industry. In addition to its alliance with MSN, these include a multi-year first look deal with NBC Universal and an alliance with Pepsi to give the beverage company and its brands a first-look to support and sponsor online entertainment developed by BermanBraun.
About MSN and Windows Live
Overall, MSN, Windows Live and Microsoft.com attract more than 550 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering web services to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. MSN partnered with Control Room to stream Live Earth, one of the largest online entertainment events in history, with over 62 million streams worldwide. Most recently, Microsoft and NBC Universal partnered to create “NBCOlympics.com on MSN,” the official online home of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, providing online users with exclusive access to a groundbreaking offering of more than 3,500 hours of live and on-demand video content.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
1 comScore Media Metrix, December 2008, U.S.
2 comScore Media Metrix, Dec 07 v Dec 08, U.S., entertainment gossip defined as Entertainment – News in comScore Media Metrix
3 Nielsen Online, U.S., Home and Work, December 2008, Time per Person
4 comScore Media Metrix, January to December 2008, U.S., 12 month average, Audience Duplication report for MSN Entertainment, MSN Movies, MSN Music and MSN TV
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