MSN Adds Wetpaint TV Fansites To Its Entertainment Offerings

Microsoft’s MSN is once again turning to wiki startup Wetpaint to boost the content offerings on its entertainment portal. MSN will now prominently feature nine of Wetpaint’s existing user-generated fan sites on MSN Entertainment. Earlier this year, MSN used Wetpaint’s wiki-platform — which lets users edit and contribute photos, videos and text — to set up the first of what it said would eventually be more than two dozen new user-generated fan sites.
The nine existing Wetpaint sites — which all revolve around TV shows and include Wetpaint sites on Dancing with the Stars and Mad Men — now show up on MSN’s ‘Superfans’ page. The sites maintain independent URLS but are framed with MSN headers.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, CEO Ben Elowitz tells us existing agreements the company has to power fansites on online properties including HBO and Showtime typically let both Wetpaint and its partner sell ads. MSN, meanwhile, also gets a cheap way to boost engagement, since visitors provide all the content on Wetpaint sites for free.
The deal comes as heavily-funded Wetpaint has doubled down on its entertainment fansites. While anybody can still use the Wetpaint platform to create a personal wiki site of their own, the Wetpaint home page now prominently includes a list of what the company describes as the most talked about TV shows on the internet, along with links to the corresponding Wetpaint sites. Elowitz told us earlier this summer that the entertainment properties — which are almost always the most active of Wetpaint’s sites — have become the company’s focus as it works to attract ad dollars.
Wetpaint has raised more than $40 million, including $25 million in a third round in May 2008 from investors, including Fidelity.