New Line’s Web pact targets niche auds

Pix to tout Snowball.com sites

New Line Cinema said Wednesday it has made an investment in Snowball.com, a collection of Web sites targeting 12- to 29-year-olds. The investment of less than $5 million has resulted in an overall promotional deal between the companies.

As part of the multiyear pact, Snowball’s sites — the young female-oriented ChickClick.com, male site IGN.com, high school site PowerStudents.com and college-themed InsideGuide.com — will make appearances in several of New Line’s upcoming pics and be promoted on studio’s homevids.

They will additionally be linked through Web-enabled DVD product from New Line.

Link to niche

In return, Snowball will push New Line’s pics online, by posting trailers, interviews and behind-the-scenes production footage on its sites.

The promotional tie-ins have already begun, with ads for New Line’s upcoming romantic comedy “The Bachelor” appearing on the sites.

Jim Rosenthal, executive veep of business development for New Line, told Daily Variety, “We’re trying to figure out where to play on the Internet. We’re creating the content that excites this group of people. We found that culturally, we (New Line and Snowball.com) think about things similarly.”

The deal gives New Line a direct link to a niche demographic it has been targeting for some time. San Francisco-based Snowball, launched in January, has been trying to target what it calls “Generation I” or the ‘Net generation.

Its name symbolizes “growth of the company and the generation it’s targeting.” Snowball.com lures 4.5 million Netizens per month, with IGN attracting over 2.6 million alone.

Deal also furthers New Line’s efforts on the Web, which already include its online studio store, auction sites and a promotional pact with America Online.

New Line said it will continue to look at other Web sites for investment opportunities.

“Our investment in Snowball.com is meant to both complement and expand on our marketing arrangements with the Internet industry,” Rosenthal said.

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