Company to provide content
A day after behemoths America Online and Time Warner agreed to merge, Checkout.com said Tuesday it has inked a deal with AOL-owned property Moviefone, becoming the film listing and ticketing service’s exclusive provider of content, including reviews and celebrity interviews.Checkout.com, the e-tailer founded by Michael Ovitz and the Yucaipa Cos.’ Richard Wolpert, will also receive prominent promotional placement on Moviefone.com in exchange for text-based news about music, videos and videogames, which it also sells online. Checkout will appear as a co-branding partner on AOL Moviefone’s telephone service and in its in-theater advertising, and serve as a gold tenant in the Music & Video and Electronic Gaming departments of the Shop@AOL. It will also receive promotional placements throughout the AOL network. Naturally, any mention of Checkout.com in ads will include links to its e-tailing offerings, which should boost sales in what’s become a competitive space, considering AOL’s stable of 22 million subscribers. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Checkout.com is paying AOL in the millions for the promotional space — a common deal for any content partner that links up with AOL. The deal — inked before AOL and Time Warner announced their planned merger on Tuesday, creating the biggest Internet and media conglom of its kind — is a coup for Checkout.com. The company, relatively late in the e-commerce game, has been on a roll recently, inking exclusive partnerships with some of the Internet’s most popular content distributors, including Realnetworks’ Realjukebox, while also serving as Wherehouse Music’s official e-tailer. “Our goal is to provide AOL members the best possible entertainment experience, and our agreement with Checkout.com helps bring our members access to a great selection of movies, videos and other entertainment offerings,” said Greg Shove, AOL veep of interactive marketing.