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New Line Cinema Goes Interactive

Digital technology is changing everything—especially the marketing of entertainment. DVD-Audio has the music industry excited about interactive features like artists' bios, still pictures, and other as-yet unimagined marketing opportunities. Free MP3 audio files are being used by some music companies as promotional tools for new releases.

The growing popularity of DVD-ROM drives in computers is also affecting the business end of the movie industry. New Line Cinema is one of the first film distributors to exploit this trend. In mid-August, the company took a bold step in the interactive direction by signing partnership agreements with video-game maker Blizzard Entertainment and Internet companies Load Media, Togglethis, Uproar.com, and the Internet Movie DataBase (IMDB).

Sarah Olson-Graves, senior vice president of marketing at New Line, says the deals will "enhance and extend our marketing of DVD to reach new audiences—including the increasing number of computer users with DVD-ROM drives." The partnerships will not merely help promote films on disc, but they will help create content for future DVDs, company executives believe.

DVDs in New Line's Platinum Series will feature links to IMDB for background information on the film's development and key personnel. Film clips with embedded links to New Line's retail operation will be available at Load Media for downloading or e-mailing. Togglethis has created the official Nightmare on Elm Street website, and Blizzard Entertainment has signed a cross-promotional agreement for Nightmare and The Corrupter. Uproar.com has an interactive game based on Blast from the Past running on its site through the end of October.

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