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Primedia plugs into MSN

February 25, 2003

Partnership is prime part of media giants' online strategies


Inman News Features

Primedia is the new power behind the throne at Microsoft Corp when it comes to the software giant's online real estate service, MSN House & Home. But does the deal between the two media giants mean Primedia is now "far and away the leading provider of real estate information and services in the market today"?

That's the opinion of Primedia Online Real Estate CEO Jamie Gallo, who said as much in a statement issued today by Microsoft.

Gallo may have good reason to crow. Primedia last year purchased Domania and RealEstate.com and last week utilized those acquisitions to dislodge the nation's MLSs from their position as the dominant providers of listings data to MSN House & Home, formerly HomeAdvisor.

Primedia's real estate division is a unit within Primedia's consumer guides division, which produces 112 publications, oversees ApartmentGuide.com, NewHomeOnline.com and RealEstate.com, and manages Primedia's Distributech free publications distribution business.

Primedia is a $1.6 billion company that is the nation's largest publisher of specialty magazines, including such titles as Seventeen, Automobile, Motor Trend, New York, Fly Fisherman, Power & Motoryacht, Telephony, Ward's Auto World and American Demographics. The company also produces and distributes specialty videos through 18 satellite and digital video product lines, including Channel One Network and About.com.

The new agreement isn't the first such deal between Primedia and MSN. Primedia's ApartmentGuide.com already has been the exclusive provider of content for MSN House & Home's rental section.

MSN House & Home also has content provider deals with Builder HomeSite, ConsumerInfo.com and MortgageSelect.com and more such deals may be in the works, judging by MSN House and Home Group Business Manager Kevin Doerr comments today.

"This agreement is part of our strategic decision to focus on our core strength as a consumer portal while teaming with leading national content providers such as Primedia's real estate division to deliver content and tools that have been created to assist consumers in buying, selling, renting and owning a home," Doerr said.

The partnership on Primedia's side is part of a broader strategy of integrating the converging residential real estate markets, apartment rentals, the new-home-building business and the resale residential real estate brokerage business, Gallo said.

"All these industry categories will ultimately play an integrated role in the creation of a strategy for the use of the current RealEstate.com domain. We have really just scratched the surface of what we feel will be a unique residential real estate offering for both the industry and the consumer," he said.

The agreement will place Primedia's home valuation analytics, a buyer and seller leads function for real estate salespeople and guided navigation search capabilities on MSN House & Home.

The integrated Web site will be launched within the next few months, according to Microsoft.

Copyright: Inman News Service



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