Seven months after promising a redesign of Moviefone, owner AOL and partner Whalerock Industries unveiled the revamped website today with a key new feature: Television shows will now be offered in addition to movies on the search site.
“We set out to answer a true market need by addressing the universal question: What do I want to watch, and where can I find it?” said Susan Lyne, CEO of AOL Brand Group, in a joint release with Whalerock founder Lloyd Braun announcing the change. “The new Moviefone is a simple and elegant solution to that challenge,” Lyne added.
Moviefone will continue to feature movie showtimes and ticketing while adding TV channels and streaming services offering movies and television shows. Consumers should be able to easily find a particular episode of a specific season of a television series on a broadcast network, or through Netflix, Amazon, iTunes or elsewhere.
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If you look at the Moviefone’s amateurish looking site, which AOL bought for $400M in 1999, you’ll see why it needs work. The company says today that it has enlisted BermanBraun “to reimagine Moviefone and give the iconic entertainment brand a new design and enhanced user experience.” Early next year the site will have “a fresh look and a more robust offering of entertainment news and content as well as a state of the art utility for consumers to find and watch premium content on all devices.” Susan Lyne, who’s CEO of the AOL Brand Group, worked with BermanBraun principal Lloyd Braun at ABC where they developed shows including Lost, Desperate Housewives, and Grey’s Anatomy. The Hollywood-based media company has helped AOL shape sites including Mandatory, Pawnation, and Skye. With that background “we are excited to partner with them to ensure Moviefone becomes a premiere, multiscreen destination for movie news and information,” Lyne says. Braun and his partner, Gail Berman, say they will “reimagine Moviefone as a vital and essential entertainment brand for the mobile generation.”
NEW YORK–(February 28, 2013)–Susan Lyne, Vice Chairman of Gilt and AOL board member, has been appointed to run AOL’s portfolio of brands that serve over 100 million consumers globally. Lyne will oversee all aspects of the Brand Group’s growth strategy, including increasing traffic across properties, maximizing partnerships with advertisers and publishers, and attracting top talent, with a particular focus on content, design, programming, and product. Lyne recently transitioned from her role as Chairman of Gilt to become Vice Chairman. She will continue in that role. Lyne’s appointment is part of AOL’s continued efforts to streamline its operations and give its business unit leaders more autonomy and accountability. AOL has three business units –The Membership Group, which consists of offerings that serve AOL account holders, AOL Networks, which consists of AOL’s offerings to publishers and advertisers utilizing AOL’s third-party advertising network, and the Brand Group, which consists of AOL’s portfolio of distinct and unique content brands. All three business units were overseen by AOL’s Chief Operating Officer, Arthur “Artie” Minson, who will stay with the company for a transition period.
Related: Susan Lyne To Run Content At AOL – But Not Huffington Post: AllThingsD
The former president and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Ominimedia and ABC Entertainment chief is close to joining AOL as CEO of its content brands, according to AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher. Susan Lyne would have oversight over brands like Engadget and TechCrunch but not The Huffington Post, whose group is headed by Arianna Huffington. Lyne has served on the AOL board of directors since 2009 and is also Vice Chairman of the Gilt Group after joining the online retailer as CEO in 2008. Before that she was president at MSLO. As ABC Entertainment’s boss she spearheaded series like Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy.