MTV’s Internet-Hungry Freston Buys Video Site (Forbes)

NEW YORK - MTV Networks has acquired iFilm, a top video Web site, for $49 million. iFilm collects and purveys video over the Internet. Its offerings include material from Hollywood studios, amateur filmmakers, and user-generated content. According to an MTV press release, the site has the biggest library of short-form entertainment video on the web and reaches over 10 million users per month.

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — In the pre-YouTube era — you know, that ancient, halcyon time of 2005 and before — one had to be very resourceful to find pirated clips of the previous night’s awards show highlights or “Daily Show” monologues. But if there was any single destination for online video back then, one would be hard-pressed to disagree it was iFilm.com. 

Linda Fisk is the vice president of marketing for IFILM, the internet’s premier online destination for short-form entertainment. She oversees the development and execution of IFILM’s strategic marketing vision and is also responsible for building marketing campaigns that capitalize on the company’s leading position in the growing online video industry.

As Ad Age reports, as of early next year, MTV Networks will drop the nine-year old site’s brand. MTVN combined iFilm with SpikeTV.com, the online counterpart of the male-oriented entertainment cable channel, back in March. The site was billed as “Spike powered by iFilm,” though there was very little left of the iFilm identity. The merged site, which had been in beta since March and initially slated for a fuller launch this fall, will now just be known as Spike.com. The revised site will continue to carry content from Spike TV, Comedy Central, GameTrailers and MTV. Still. Jon Slussser, SVP of Spike Digital Media Entertainment Group, said the site is intended to be viewed as having a singular identity related to its cable namesake, rather than as a general platform for online video.

MTV Acquires IFILM

"MTV Networks on Thursday said it acquired IFILM, an Internet provider of short films, news clips and other video snippets, for $49 million (£28 million) as part of its ongoing effort to expand its presence on the Web. IFILM will be run by its current chief executive officer, Blair Harrison, and will retain its editorial independence," reports Reuters.

"MTV expects to increase IFILM’s current reach to more than 10 million users a month and boost advertising revenues by promoting IFILM with other MTV-owned Web sites and offering MTV content to IFILM users."


Viacom has plunked down $49 million for online video site iFilm, which will become part of MTV Networks.

The Netco has gained prominence and created buzz over the past couple of years by hosting “viral video” clips, such as Jon Stewart’s contentious appearance on “Crossfire.” The clips are spread by users, who email an iFilm link to their friends, who in turn pass it on to others, sometimes reaching millions of people.