Macromedia, the San Francisco-based maker of Web development technologies, enters the entertainment aggregation business today with the launch of shockwave.com.
The ambitious, upgraded version of the current Shockwave showcase site, shockwave.com will serve as the central point on the Web for content that requires Macromedia's Shockwave and Flash plug-ins, both of which offer consumers a multimedia online experience. The company estimates the two plug-ins reach 77 percent of the Web audience.
The list of developers who have worked with Shockwave and whose work is on the new site include everyone from small developers to media giants such as Hasbro Interactive, Comedy Central and Warner Bros. "We want to define the future of entertainment," said David Mendels, vice president, general manager of Web publishing and Macromedia.
To help build traffic, Macromedia is also launching two products which will allow Shockwave users to customize Shockwave content. One, the Shockwave Remote, allows users to view Shockwave content anywhere on the Web and will be included with the Shockwave Player. The Remote will show up as an interactive window alongside Shockwave content and will allow users to save Shockwave favorites and send Shockwave links to friends via e-mail.
The second product, a suped-up remote known as the Shockmachine, will be available for $19.99 and allows people to save unlimited Shockwave entertainment. Both the Remote and Shockmachine include a Shockwave Search capability, powered by San Francisco-based LookSmart.
The launch of Shockwave.com puts Macromedia in competition with companies which use its technology, though most see the move as positive. "You damage your brands when you're too myopic," said Larry Lieberman, vice president of strategic planning at Comedy Central, New York.
Jupiter Communications analyst David Kerley said that further popularizing Shockwave should help Macromedia in its core business by making its product more attractive to developers. "I think it's a very successful tactic and strategy," he said.
Macromedia plans to roll out an advertising model for the site in the fall. ƒ