Time Ripe for Cinemax online


HBO is looking outside its dot-com domain to promote its Cinemax brand.

The company's sister channel is teaming with Web video site Ripe TV to bring shortform content from the channel online with a focus on driving subscriptions to the HBO-owned premium network. The deal is set to be announced today.

Dhanusha Sivajee, director of affiliate marketing at HBO, also said her company is interested in creating more shortform programming and that Ripe was a good place to start.

"We're exploring different marketing partnerships that are a good fit in terms of target marketing and brand," Sivajee said. "Ripe TV is really a premium platform for shortform content."

This marks the first time HBO will make Cinemax content available on an external portal. While the network is licensing the content to Ripe, Time Warner-owned HBO considers the arrangement a marketing deal.

Ripe TV has launched a channel dubbed Max Effect, which will showcase shortform Cinemax content, including offerings from the series "Sin City Diaries"; the behind-the-scenes promo "60 Seconds With …"; and "Max Final Cut," which recently featured an interview with the cast of the Jamie Foxx starrer "The Kingdom."

For Cinemax, this is an opportunity to reach a tech-savvy young-male audience and encourage them to sign up for subscriptions through links back to Cinemax.com and banner ads on the Ripe site.

Ryan Magnussen, CEO of Ripe TV parent Ripe Digital Entertainment, said his company chooses the clips from the Cinemax library that best fit the audience and that the partnership could lead into linear programming and other co-produced content.

Magnussen also said that even though HBO has a few decades more experience in the world of media than Ripe, the network could learn a few things from his company through the partnership.

"They saw the ability to learn about multiplatform distribution and shortform production," Magnussen said. "They're really the leader in being progressive in entertainment, and they saw this as a natural progression."

Founded in 2002, Ripe delivers content via three broadband sites and through VOD partnerships with TW and Comcast. Ripe Digital Entertainment this month secured $32 million in Series B financing from Time Warner Investments, Hearst-Argyle, Columbia Capital and Rho Ventures.