Something’s missing from Hollywood.com’s mix of showbiz news, nationwide movie listings and streaming film trailers.
No, CBS wasn’t off its rocker when it received a 5% stake in Hollywood.com in early March, after the site announced it would soon add a Web-based ticketing component to its offerings.
The dot-com admittedly packs an informational wallop, containing plenty of fact-filled yet fun stories on the latest goings-on at studio, at pic preems and with celebrities.
Hollywood.com also boasts a comprehensive, searchable database of trailers and sound clips from both past and recent film releases, all offered in various downloadable formats.
And it’s completely free.
Yet top-tier biz sites, including E!Online and the Internet Movie Database, serve up all of that and more.
Frequently Netcasting live chats with TV and film stars, E!Online has cornered the market on Web appointment viewing.
Besides reading all the latest biz gossip, E!Onliners most recently yukked it up with “Here on Earth” topliners Leelee Sobieski and Chris Klein.
For the week ending March 5, E!Online grabbed 823,222 unique visitors to Hollywood.com’s 238,316, according to Nielsen Media Research.
And over at IMDB.com (pulling in 412,788 unique users for the same week), biz buffs can have a field day with the site’s painstakingly complete details on directors, writers, talent and projects in development.
But Hollywood.com’s blend of great visuals and good stories are the core ingredients to any Tinseltown gathering spot.
The site could use some sprucing up by way of adding regular celeb chats, original shows or live Webcasts of the town’s soirees. Hollywood.com’s declaration to beef up its showtime listings with online ticketing services is a start. Its pact March 23 with Web content creator Digital Entertainment Network, which will pump in teen-geared programming to the site, also looks promising.
And flush with $ 25 million in promotional ad time from CBS, Hollywood.com could arguably give current leaders in the online general entertainment arena a run for their money.
But the site must evolve from its current uninspired formula of tidbits and listings to really make CBS’ investment pay off.