Deseret Digital Media Launches OK.com, Empowers Parents with Interactive Family Media Guide
SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — In a bold business expansion, Deseret Digital Media today launched Ok.com. A groundbreaking online family media guide that provides a platform for customized, crowd-sourced ratings and reviews of the latest movies, the site empowers consumers to decide for themselves what is “Ok” for their families, and offers a tailor-made addition to the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) movie rating system. In this world of exploding media options and unfiltered images, the platform leverages the wisdom of crowds, critics and, more importantly, friends. OK.com provides parents, families and moviegoers alike with the information they need to gauge two important questions: what is appropriate for their children, families and them to watch, and which movies are “worth your time” to see.
Ok.com allows users nationwide to rent and purchase products directly and gives families the ability to design their own personalized network of movie reviews from the people they trust.
“We are investing in a platform that empowers both parents and media companies to localize all ratings and reviews specific to their user-base and demographic, helping build their online communities and increase user engagement,” said Clark Gilbert, Deseret Digital Media president and CEO. “Ok.com is a powerful standalone resource for families, but can also be licensed under any subdomain inside a publisher’s current website, enabling the licensee to receive 100 percent of the ad revenue from the sponsorship, leaderboard and block ad. OK.com is a major part of our digital strategy and we look forward to building on this strategic media property.”
Site users can assemble a panel of favorite reviewers, set parameters for receiving information based on their own preferences, or allow the system’s algorithm to make suggestions. Additionally Ok.com provides a customizable discussion platform. In this familiar 21(st) century social media format, parents can get crowd-sourced information from a trusted community and offer reviews themselves. Ok.com empowers parents to be influential thought leaders and industry arbiters – not only for each other, but also for the movie industry.
“Ok.com enables parents to make educated decisions by giving them a set of tools to connect with a trusted online community that shares their standards and criteria,” said Chris Lee, Vice President of Digital Products for Deseret Digital Media and Publisher of the Deseret News. “It is not intended to tell people what they should think, rather it empowers them to determine for themselves the appropriate movies for their families. Users log in and invite friends via Facebook Connect to build their personal reviewer network and to follow those they trust for great recommendations.”
Ok.com answers two key consumer questions at a glance: “Is it appropriate?” and “Is it worth my time?” The site’s color-coded, at a glance rating system consists of an “Ok” icon, followed by the suggested age range, such as “Ok 12+” or “Ok 5+.” The system enables users to quickly visualize and determine the age appropriateness of a movie for their family, and comments from reviewers provide more nuanced perspectives to readers. The proprietary “Worth Your Time” (WYT) widget asks users to give a simple “yes” or “no” answer about whether a movie was “worth their time” and conveys the crowd-sourced response in the form of a simple thumbs up (green) or down (red) graphic.
For example, the MPAA rating for “The King’s Speech” is R, but in a beta site survey, Ok.com reviewers generally felt it was appropriate for a much younger audience than 17, and received an “OK 12+” rating. Additionally, the film’s site data indicated that 92 percent of users gave it a WYT rating. On the other hand, “Dinner for Schmucks” was rated PG-13 by the MPAA, but Ok.com users thought it should have been rated closer to MPAA’s R, and generally gave it “OK 15+” with a 17 percent WYT rating based on the levels of “sex, nudity, violence, gore and profanity.”
As part of a plan to expand on its existing Family Media Guide product, Deseret Digital Media acquired the valuable OK.com URL and created both a stand-alone site as well as a licensed co-branded product that publishers can localize and offer to their own readers. Compatible with all smart phones and other mobile devices, OK.com includes partnerships with Fandango, Redbox and Netflix for movie rental and ticket purchases. OK.com is the only parent review site available that is sub-licensable and co-brandable, while also offering product, ticket and rental agent partnerships. Ratings for video games and books will be added to Ok.com in the near future.
The launch of OK.com supports the company’s ongoing strategy to extend its portfolio into new digital markets. Deseret Digital Media is sub-licensing Ok.com to publishers across the country. Initial syndication customers include mynorthwest.com (Seattle, Washington), ktar.com (Phoenix, Arizona), lancasteronline.com (Lancaster, Pennsylvania), mywebtimes.com (Ottawa, Ohio), and ksl.com and Deseretnews.com (Salt Lake City, Utah).
“Ok.com allows us to immediately offer a highly customizable social media platform for localizing all ratings, reviews and movie times tailored for our own audience demographic, under our own banner,” said Carl Gardner, VP and Market Manager, mynorthwest.com. “We gain both hyperlocal and national content that satisfies an unmet need for parents and families, while also providing our advertisers an attractive new window into our audience. Deseret Digital Media’s licensing terms enable us to capture all the local ad revenue and deliver a very competitive, cutting edge digital product.”
About Deseret Digital Media
Deseret Digital Media manages the media Web sites of the Deseret Media Companies, including Deseret News, KSL and Ok.com. The mission of Deseret Digital Media is to become the trusted digital voice in all of the markets it serves. This goal is part of a broad corporate mission to become “trusted voices of light and knowledge, reaching hundreds of millions of people.” Deseret Media Companies is a for-profit arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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SOURCE Deseret Digital Media