Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has acquired social movie discovery site Flixster. The acquisition also includes Rotten Tomatoes, a movie review site Flixster acquired from News Corp. last year. Under the terms of the deal, Flixster will continue to operate independently and will expand its services beyond movie discovery. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Warner’s interest was originally reported by AllThingsD in March, and the price of the site was valued at between $60 million and $90 million. Flister has raised a total of $7 million in funding.
From the release: 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.
Warner Bros. has been aggressively pushing its own digital strategy, most recently bringing movie rentals to Facebook.
And Flixster’s social movie platform could be complimentary to this strategy. Flixster’s popular cross-platform movie discovery application on mobile platforms has seen 35 million downloads to date and Rotten Tomatoes is seeing 12 million unique visitors per month. The Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes will remain fully independent, says Warner and the Flixster team will stay in San Francisco and the Rotten Tomatoes team will continue to work autonomously in Los Angeles.
Of course, there’s the obvious conflict of interest between review site Rotten Tomatoes and studio Warner Bros.; so it should be interesting to see how that shakes out.