SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Wikia, the collaborative media company that is home to some of the largest communities on the Web, today unveiled a new Lightbox multimedia player to enhance the multimedia viewing experience for the site's over 50M monthly global visitors. The Wikia Lightbox will feature nearly 100,000 videos and 14 million photos including content from premium partners AnyClip, IDG, IGN, RealGravity, and ScreenPlay, Inc., - giving users access to over 5,000 hours of premium content from which to choose.
The strategic direction to curate and surface video content comes at a time when the comScore Video Metrix service recently reported that 180 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content in July for an average of 18.5 hours per viewer, creating greater engagement and opening up advertising opportunities with a wide array of influential consumers.
"The new video library and Lightbox player will amplify Wikia's naturally strong community creation and curation activities by enabling the assembly and packaging of user created and premium photo and video content in one place," said Wikia CEO, Craig Palmer. "This also gives us the opportunity to bring our users the best professional video content available on the web. Like the recent redesign of our Home Page (www.wikia.com) and Hubs (for example: www.wikia.com/entertainment), these efforts will make it even easier to showcase the passionate pursuit of knowledge through collaborative storytelling."
Through the Lightbox, Wikia users will be able to stream trailers, previews, clips and exclusive studio videos at up to 1080p HD video quality as well as browse through an entire collection of multi-media assets by page. The product will enable users to curate professional, licensed content that can be integrated with original wiki content to create a richer, fuller multi-media experience with over 100,000 professional videos clips from premier content companies. During beta, the Lightbox offered multi-media collections on wikis such as Shrek, Mortal Kombat, Hunger Games and Lord of the Rings. The Lightbox is now available to all 250,000+ Wikia communities across its video game, entertainment and lifestyle categories, making Wikia an even more compelling destination for those interested in collaboratively created content.
The innovative and interactive player can be triggered from any photo or video thumbnail or users can navigate directly to the entire collection of video on any given wiki by selecting the new stand-alone video collection page in the wiki navigation bar. Users can select video content from a source library (http://video.wikia.com) that aggregates video assets available for any Wikia contributor to post, and curate. Wikia's multi-media Lightbox also allows content to be shared with friends even if they are not Wikia users via email, Twitter and Facebook. In the near future Wikia users will have the ability to embed Wikia videos on their websites and blogs.
The new video capabilities will provide advertisers with unique ways of reaching a highly engaged and passionate, targeted audience that wants to interact with their brand through video advertising offerings: video pre-roll, companion ad units within the Lightbox's interstitials and a full sponsorship option - creating a unique branded video player that reinforces sponsor's look and feel.
"The Wikia Lightbox video advertising option gives sponsors a new canvas where they can tap into the influence of the Wikia community to create real brand stories in digital space," commented Wikia's Senior Vice President of Sales, Bob Huseby. "These specs help creativity flourish by making it easier for brands to take advantage of our video ad inventory while allowing advertisers to deliver in-stream interactive video ads with the confidence that users will always receive a consistent, clean and well lit viewing experience on all of our wiki's and pages."
Wikia's first comprehensive update to its in-stream video advertising standards are designed to deliver a variety of enhanced video advertising experiences. Current beta testing across 450 wikis has shown that users that engage with the Lightbox are 20% more likely to view the next video in the collection. Select beta campaigns have shown nearly an 8% CTR on pre-roll video ads and a 75% video play rate on pushdown video ads.
In September of 2012 Wikia's global traffic reached over 60M unique visitors, and now hovers around 1B page views for the first time in company history. The site's Video Game vertical tops 25M global unique visitors and has a 28% year-over-year growth rate, making Wikia Video Games one of the top video game destinations on the Web and a leader in the industry. Wikia Entertainment is experiencing stellar momentum with over 60% growth year-over-year to date and 27M unique global visitors.
Wikia is a trusted collaborative media platform. It is the definitive place for people to contribute to the assembly of original bodies of multi-media content around subjects they know and love.
Using Wikia, anyone can form new communities around any subject or participate in over 250,000 existing communities by reading or contributing new content. With over 20 million pages of rich content, Wikia's communities are the most authoritative information about any topic on the Internet.
Wikia's video game vertical (www.wikia.com/videogames) is a leading video-game focused network on the Web. Its entertainment vertical (www.wikia.com/entertainment) is the fastest growing US entertainment destination around the world. Lifestyle (www.wikia.com/lifestyle) interest is the fastest growing collection of content on Wikia today.
Launched as Wikia in 2006 by founders Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley, Wikia attracts more than 50 million global unique visitors per month and is ranked a Top 35 Internet site according to Quantcast. www.wikia.com