MSN has launched Wonderwall, a site which will pull content from other MSN channels and concentrates on Celebrities and ofcourse gossip.
You can read about the launch in the Microsoft press release or some coverage on All Things Digital and PaidContent. I think PaidContent got it right more than anybody.
Wonderwall exemplifies the latest rage in portal strategy—a site that can stand alone with its own brand while feeding from and feeding into the portal.
To most, it looks like MSN is playing catchup. Not so, argues MSN GM Rob Bennett, who contends that Wonderwall provides a single destination for content scattered across MSN, not something completely new. “The reality is a lot of the same content and the same audience is there.” That lack of a single destination is “why it looks like we’re further behind than we probably are.” Bennett expects the promotional power of MSN to help Wonderwall catch up fast: ” I think when we turn the firehose on in different places; it’s going to be a close race.” MSN also has an off-network campaign in the works.
Which is exactly what it is, a strategy to push content from and to MSN and in a way which creates value for Users (central place for all celebrity news/gossip) and Advertisers (more targetable audience at the same place). MSN has great content and if they are able to mix it well with programming and keep it fresh (and they have help in the form of BermanBraun), they will have a winner. One look at the site and you can see the enormous advertising opportunities the site provides. And as far as I understand, users and Advertisers love such stuff. For each click on the celebrity photograph on the wall you have one opportunity to show highly targetable ad. Throw in some research surveys and analysis and the site brings more value to the advertisers.
Good Job MSN.