ITN moves into social networking with Bebo

ITN was unveiled as Bebo’s worldwide news launch partner on the social networking site’s new video service Open Media. ITN is launching its own player on the service with showbiz, sports and quirky content aimed at Bebo’s 40 million users worldwide. The service will be funded by short pre-roll advertisements around the content provided by ad.com ITN also plans to introduce Bebo specific video content and blogs to further engage and interact with the Bebo community.

The ITN service will be broken down into four strands – Planet Goss (http://planet-goss.bebo.com/) will feature all the latest showbiz news, a mix of new content including outtakes and dares for the stars. Bebo subscribers will be encouraged to upload their photos and videos of the stars and submit questions for upcoming interviews. ITN will also offer a Bollywood strand (http://bollywoodinsider.bebo.com/)featuring weekly show Bollywood Insider and a daily blog from presenter Suzi Mann to get Bollywood fans talking about the latest movies and stories.

The Sports Fix thread (http://sports-fix.bebo.com/) will feature ITN’s Sports Fix and EPL bulletins as well as launching new short form programmes including amateur football features, manager mishaps, recreated goals of the week and of course Wag watch.

Finally, ITN will introduce a Crazy Wild Cool strand(http://www.crazywildcool.bebo.com/) that will feature quirky content from ITN’s vast archive including cute animal content, funny moments and bloopers. Key to this will be Bebo community’s own content where Bebo users can upload their own videos and pictures.

Nicholas Wheeler Managing Director of ITN On said – “We have always believed in getting our content to the audience wherever they are and now we know they are on Bebo in a big way and we want to be part of it. As always it is great to be a launch partner and be able to help grow the market for great content on new platforms like Bebo. We’re offering a range of content in the celebrity and quirky genres and look forward to introducing a host of new bespoke video, as we progress, to engage Bebo users and enhance their experience of the site.”

Joanna Shield’s, Bebo’s President said – ‘We’re delighted to welcome ITN as the first news partner to join Open Media, which opens up a lucrative new business model for the entire media industry. ITN will benefit from the ability to bring its content to our base of 40 million active users while maintaining full control over its brand, content and advertising revenues. In turn, the Bebo community get to deepen their engagement with their favourite content by being able to share, embed and discover compelling video from companies such as ITN with their Bebo profiles.’

For more information please contact John Nolan at ITN on + 44 (0)20 7430 4216 or +44 (0)777 9329 187

About ITN On

ITN On is part of ITN, one of the world’s leading news and multimedia content companies. ITN On is the UK’s leading supplier of news and other video entertainment content to broadband, mobile phone and radio platforms.

ITN On pioneered video news on mobile in Europe, launching with 3 in 2003 and was the first UK company to create made-for-mobile news and weather channels. ITN On’s key business partners include, Vodafone, 3, BT, Orange as well as established broadband operators Yahoo!, MSN, Telegraph Group, The Mirror and Virgin Media. ITN On’s radio division IRN supplies news to over 260 commercial radio stations throughout the UK with a combined daily audience of 24 million.

www.itn.co.uk

About Bebo

Bebo is a global social networking website which aims to bring together like minded individuals who are creative, expressive and socially aware. Bebo has a membership of more than 40 million world-wide and ranks as the world’s most engaging Social Media Network with users spending an average of 40 minutes per usage day on the site.

Bebo won the People’s Choice award in the Social Networking category at the 2006 Webby awards and was named as the number one search term in the Year-End Google Zeitgeist 2006.

Bebo was founded in 2005 by Michael and Xochi Birch.

Source: comScore World Metrix

www.bebo.com

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