BKN International maps out impressive web rollout strategy
Making a significant commitment to improving its level of Internet activity, Germany’s BKN International has launched a London-based web division called BKN New Media, which will leverage BKNI’s existing portfolio of entertainment brands into websites, as well as developing an overall BKNI portal destination. Bill Sondheim, former president of PolyGram Home Video, will lead the new unit as managing director.
Sondheim will initially work to acquire a studio so that BKNI can start producing TV property-based web sites and on-line video games to jazz them up. The division’s 12-month launch plan is ambitious. The Roswell Conspiracies site hit the web at the end of August, to be followed in short order by sites for Kong, the Animated Series (December 16), Capertown Cops (February 3), Journey to the Center of the Earth (April 14), The Lost Continent (June 2) and The Invisible Private Eye (August 4). However, the crowning jewel in the new media plan is the launch of a portal destination called BKNKids.com on September 1, 2001. This streaming media hub will offer downloads of TV episodes from the BKN library, multiplayer on-line games and webisodes that will interact with airing TV series. Revenues will come from four main areas: Advertising and sponsorship, e-commerce, downloading on demand and monthly membership subscriptions.
Ubi Soft stakes a firm claim on U.S. market with Red Storm pick-up
French video game publisher Ubi Soft has further established itself as a going concern State-side by acquiring Tom Clancy’s four-year-old software prodco Red Storm Entertainment. The takeover marks strike two of a U.S. expansion plan that began with the buyout of North Carolina-based Sinister Games in May. Primarily concentrating on the action-adventure genre, Red Storm’s Rainbow Six and Rogue Spear generated 3 million unit sales worldwide, helping the gameco reap US$52 million in 1999 net earnings.