HALLMARK CHANNEL BEEFS UP ONLINE OFFERINGS WITH REFRESHED WEBSITE AND MICROSITES DEDICATED TO NETWORK INITIATIVES
New Microsite Launches November 26 to Support Original Holiday Movie Premiere, "The Note"
Hallmark Channel has recently refreshed its consumer website, www.hallmarkchannel.com, allowing the network to take advantage of the robust digital space and offer users a more complete viewing experience. In addition, the network has designed several recent microsites dedicated to upcoming programming and marketing initiatives. On November 26, a new microsite will launch to help raise awareness of the network's original holiday movie, "The Note," premiering Saturday December 8 (9 p.m., ET/PT). A link to the site can be found on the homepage of the consumer website.
"The refreshed website matches the updated on-air look that we rolled out earlier this year, and the response we are receiving from users tells us that we are a strong player in the medium," said Marvin Dorson, Senior Vice President, Creative Services. "Programming for the online community makes good business sense for Hallmark Channel quite simply because it opens the channel up to a new and younger audience, and allows our advertising partners to showcase their brand and products in an uncluttered space."
The website now features streaming video, behind-the-scenes original movie footage, star interviews, online-exclusive sweepstakes, and community groups where users share videos, post photos and blog about the network's programming. Hallmark Channel will also use the website as a platform for new and existing programming and recently began streaming its original series "Adoption," on the site � a first for the network.
The website refresh was a project handled in-house by Hallmark Channel's New Media team. The effort was lead by Mark Stolnitz, Vice President, Media Management and Brian Wellner, Director, New Media.
"We recognized a need to create an online destination that platformed the network's programming in a user-friendly format," said Stolnitz. "The outcome is a site that has an increased capability of keeping users engaged for a longer amount of time, thus driving revenue through advertising potential."
In addition to the new look and feel of the consumer site, the network has also begun creating microsites dedicated to specific programming and marketing initiatives. The latest offering launches November 26 and is tied to the network's upcoming original holiday movie "The Note." The movie is the story of a newspaper columnist who finds a note at the site of a plane crash with no survivors. She embarks on a journey to find the intended recipient of the note, the estranged father of one of the crash victims. "The Note" microsite allows users to post personalized notes to their friends and family. Users can customize their note with stationary, font type and musical scores. Following the plot of the movie, the user can send an email to their recipient letting them know that there is a note waiting for them at www.hallmarkchannel.com from a loved one.
Launch-to-date (11/12/07 vs. 10/1/07) the refreshed website experienced an overwhelming +178% increase in page views and a +60% increase in unique visitors. The "Adoption" microsite has received 65,000 page views and over 6,000 unique visitors, since its November 1 launch (as of Nov. 8).
Source: Site Census 10/1 vs.11/12/07 and Google Analytics 11/1-11/8/07 (Adoption microsite).
Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming to a national audience of nearly 85 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through more than 5,300 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel consistently ranks among the top 10 ad-supported cable networks in Prime Time and Total Day household ratings and is the nation's leading network in providing quality family programming. Crown Media also operates a second 24-hour linear channel, Hallmark Movie Channel, and will launch Hallmark Movie Channel HD in first quarter 2008.