AOL, which has been working on a redesign of its iconic but old-style Moviefone site with Whalerock Industries, released the new version today.
The redo — its last one was in 2010 — includes new search tools, website and app, as well as television content. Users of the service can find theaters, channels and streaming services offering movies and television shows.
“The line between television and film content blurs more every day,” said Whalerock’s Lloyd Braun in a statement. “Consumers have a dizzying array of choices in determining what and where to watch their favorite TV shows and movies.”
Along with the new look rollout, Moviefone is starting a search for a new voice of the service in an open casting call — text “STAR” to 265265 for more details — to replace that of Russ Leatherman, who left the company he founded in 1989 last year.
After buying it in 1999 at the height of the Web 1.0 bubble for upward of $500 million in stock, AOL has pretty much let Moviefone languish ever since. As I previously noted: “As others — from a myriad of entertainment content sites to the Fandango movie ticketing and content site to premium video distributor Netflix — have boomed, the old-school movie and ticket information site has decidedly not.”
Whalerock essentially manages Moviefone’s content, product and creative development, although AOL will retain ownership of the brand and run advertising sales in collaboration with its partner.
AOL and Whalerock — previously BermanBraun — have worked on several projects together, with the Los Angeles area entertainment and digital production studio creating sites for men (Mandatory), pets (PawNation) and weather (Skye) for AOL.
In fact, the relationship goes back further than that — Braun and AOL Brand Group CEO Susan Lyne once led Disney’s ABC television network together.