CAMPAIGN-I: BEHIND THE HYPE - Play for free but look at the ads please. Freeloader delivers games software free to web users

Freeloader is a gaming portal that delivers games software through the web to users for free, in exchange for information about their likes and preferences. The portal offers brands highly targeted opportunities for ads. The site shares revenue generated from advertising with the games' owners. Freeloader's owner, Pure Entertainment, also develops games exclusively for the portal.

Freeloader is a gaming portal that delivers games software through the web to users for free, in exchange for information about their likes and preferences. The portal offers brands highly targeted opportunities for ads. The site shares revenue generated from advertising with the games' owners. Freeloader's owner, Pure Entertainment, also develops games exclusively for the portal.

Site characteristics The site, designed in-house, is a dusky blue, with a streamlined, sophisticated feel. Some of the games can be played direct from the site, while others have to be downloaded and require plug-ins. There are about 30 games on the site.

Target demographics A pre-dominantly ABC1 male audience uses the site, but Freeloader is trying to broaden this.

Principals Harry Holmwood is the chief executive, Simon Parkinson the publishing director, Richard Groves the technical director, and Doug Telford the art director.

Backers Private individuals provided the first round of funding with Eidos, which still holds a 12.6 per cent stake. A second round of funding following flotation came from Henderson Investors (24 per cent), and other institutions such as Merrill Asset Management.

Marketing The company has undertaken some offline advertising through Mustoe Merriman, and has some strategic partnerships in the pipeline.

Competition This site can't really be compared with others such as Gameplay, which focus as much on e-commerce as game downloads. Barrysworld.com is a closer competitor.



THE YEAR AHEAD

We're not convinced

Makes expert use of the web as a delivery medium - its success is ultimately dependent on online ad revenues.



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