Meevee to Promote Showtime Series

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Showtime Networks Inc. has entered a deal with television-centric portal Meevee in which the latter will showcase streaming video on its home page promoting new Showtime series Weeds and Barbershop: The Series.

The promotion deal is similar to a previous agreement made between Meevee and NBC, under which the broadcaster provided clips to the site to market its fall season.

Meevee (www.meevee.com) gleans information from data feeds in the marketplace to populate its Web site with specific daily viewing information for viewers’ local cable or national satellite providers, which site users can access by entering their ZIP codes. Showtime’s promotional clips began running on the site Sept. 21. The partners declined to discuss the financial details of the relationship.

Showtime senior vice president of new media Robert Hayes noted that the network embarked on a strategy 18 months ago designed to create sampling opportunities anywhere television enthusiasts may congregate on the Web.

Previously, the debut episode of Showtime series Fat Actress was streamed on Yahoo! Inc. (www.yahoo.com). That experiment attracted 150,922 unique visitors, some of whom watched the episode again. More recently, the network partnered with MSN Video (msnvideo.com) to stream the debut episode of Barbershop simultaneously with its airdate on the premium channel Aug. 14.

However, the Meevee deal will only be for content clips of 30 seconds to two minutes in length. Meevee users can link to Showtime’s site (www.sho.com) for more information on the premium service’s programming.

Showtime has also placed Weeds and Barbershop among the podcasts for download on the iTunes Web site (www.apple.com/itunes).

In November, Showtime will utilitize Meevee to promote upcoming boxing matches, as well as its new anthology series, Masters of Horror.

Meevee will provide Showtime with reports on the number of people who view the clips, as well as traffic that follows links from that Web site to sho.com.

Meevee, which launched in June, is publicizing itself through search-engine marketing and some brand advertising, chief operating officer Michael Raneri said. But most users discover the site via word of mouth, he added.

Showtime will not promote Meevee on its Web site, Hayes said.

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