MSN, EPINIONS ENTER JOINT MARKETING PLAN

NEW YORK — The MSN network said Wednesday it has struck a strategic alliance with Epinions .com, through which that Web site will offer consumer ratings and reviews of various products to the Microsoft-owned network’s newly redesigned eShop channel.
The companies also plan to implement a joint marketing and promotional campaign.
MSN’s deal with Epinions is one of a number of improvements to the eShop area announced by Microsoft. Other enhancements include a home page that has been redone to simplify site navigation, expanded search capabilities, a new gift center, more prominent display of sales and promotional offers and a new Best Seller list making it easy for users to identify hot items.
Approximately 39 million unique visitors use MSN each month, according to Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp.
Epinions covers more than 150,000 products and services. The company, based in Brisbane, Calif., pays its reviewers based on the number of times readers view their opinions.

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