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PROFILE: IGN

Ben Parfitt
PROFILE: IGN

IGN may be the old dog of the internet, but it still has plenty of new tricks up its sleeves.

As one of the longest-running games websites, it has developed a colossal audience and continues to find new ways to interact with them, such as First Look events and My IGN.

The result is 30 million users that visit IGN’s games sites around the world, establishing the flagship site IGN.com as the market leader in various territories across Europe, the US and Australia – something the company is understandably proud of.

“We have the largest readership – both in the UK and globally – of any games media brand, but the quality of our audience is also unrivalled,” says IGN’s UK marketing director Rich Keen.

“From the super-early adopter influencers that lead community voice to the more social mainstream segments of our readership that flock to IGN to follow the crowd – no other site has comparable levels of engagement, in time spent on the site and sheer volume of content consumed per user.”

REACHING THE MASSES

That’s not to say IGN is resting on its laurels. The firm has worked hard to create traffic-driving content and is still building its profile among the masses with some key partnerships – particularly in the UK.

“It’s been a fantastic six months for IGN UK,” says international vice president and managing director Ian Chambers. “We’ve seen record UK user numbers in December, our writers and content were recognised in the GMAs and we’ve secured some major relationships.

“We’re immensely proud of our online promotional partnership with BAFTA, as we help to stream the 2011 Games Awards directly to consumers.

“We are also the platinum sponsor of Kapow Comic Con, where our IGN Arena will offer games publishers the chance to position their titles in a wider entertainment environment.”

And at the heart of all this is the readership. Well aware of the consumers’ importance to IGN’s market-leading success, the company is searching for better ways to keep them coming back.

Key to this has been My IGN, the firm’s own take on social networking that launched last summer, which has even opened up new marketing opportunities for the games industry at large.

“My IGN was the first step towards our goal of uniting the community around our content,” says Keen.

“It is now effectively the epicentre of community engagement. The platform is being continually developed and is also proving to be a valuable tool for publishers to build communities around their products and kick-start social media buzz long before release.

“Recent campaigns for major UK publishers that began with work across My IGN to mobilise our community have been some of the most innovative and engaging to date.”

Going forwards, IGN will be pulling out all the stops to reach new audiences. It has already made great headway in this area, with IGN content available on some of the biggest mainstream media destinations found on the internet.

“Our focus for 2011 is to continue to develop our audience and the IGN brand beyond the borders of our websites,” Chambers concludes.

“We have market-leading podcasts and apps on iTunes, and the largest games media channel on YouTube – it attracts 1.6m unique UK users a month and generates more than 35m video views a year. We are also experimenting with video to find unique places in which to position and promote our editorial.

“Ultimately our content appeals to a wide audience and our goal is to ensure IGN continues to innovate and service our varied readership, no matter where and how they engage us.”

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