Social movie rating and sharing website Flixster is to purchase film review aggregating service Rotten Tomatoes in the near future.
News Corp, parent to Rotten Tomatoes will own a minority stake in the new enterprise.
This move supplants earlier speculation that MySpace (another News Corp company) might purchase Flixster, and then meld it in-house with Rotten Tomatoes. In the final deal, MySpace was absent. Kara Swisher contacted us, and pointed out that originally there had a number of discussed options, and the MySpace participation was never a set deal. AllThingsDigital was first to the story on Christmas Eve.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it seems unlikely that significant cash traded hands on any side, given that News Corp is getting a piece of the new pie. The press release notes that “Together, Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes give movie audiences an unprecedented total picture of movie trends and opinions, combining half a million reviews from leading critics with 2.3 billion user ratings and reviews.”
Impressive data, and it underscores why this particular deal makes sense: both companies, while having slightly different focuses were always going to be covering similar ground, fighting for the same userbase, and competing feature for feature. Now, they will be the dominant force in a popular market.
This deal has a history. As the press release states: “Prior to the acquisition, Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes partnered in several areas, including a recent deal that syndicates critic reviews from Rotten Tomatoes to Flixster’s online movie community, both on the Web and via Flixster’s mobile apps.” These two companies were made for one another.