IMDB.com via Studio Briefing, has a nugget today about News Corp (that's Fox to you) looking to leverage its newly acquired internet property IGN Entertainment to promote it's films. It cites the better than expected performance of "The Transporter 2" as an indicator that IGN coupled with The Fox Network and FX can be an effective tool to hit the "gamer" demographic. The article also goes on to suggest a tone difference in reviews from pre- and post- Fox acquisition of IGN.
The good news: This type of niche marketing is good for the industry. Instead of trying to promote offend-no-one faire by shotgunning ads across all demographics, this type of niche marketing will allow for a greater diversity of films. The hope is that the studios find other markets than just "the gamer" out there.
The bad news: The indication that News Corp would use their reviewing capacity to inflate perceptions of their films is troubling, if not particularly surprising. It does seem to deliver short term gain at the expense of potential long term gain. When sources of information independently provide quality information, they attract people interested in the unbiased information. If those same people get burned by a trusted source and figure out that they are no longer independent, they'll just move on. Especially considering that there are no barriers to entry for a competing source of editorial information out on the internet. If News Corp isn't smart about it, IGN could become worthless if they push it too hard.
The old news: Plans about utilizing the internet for "synergy?" Hey, News Corp, 1996 called, they want their business case back. --Terrence Ryan