Paramount to offer film clips for Web use
Paramount Pictures will become the first major studio to make clips from thousands of its movies available for use on the Internet.
The unit of Viacom Inc. is teaming with Los Angeles-based developer FanRocket to launch the VooZoo application today on Facebook.
The service gives Facebook users access to footage from thousands of movies, ranging from “The Ten Commandments” to “Forrest Gump,” to send to others on the popular social networking site.
“The short clips for a movie that you’ve already seen before helps you relive the moment,” Paramount senior vice president of entertainment Derek Broes said.
The studio will market DVDs of the movies through a button that appears after each clip is played. It eventually wants to use the application to virally market upcoming releases.
For example, VooZoo is withholding clips from the “Indiana Jones” series until it works out a way to market the May 22 release of the latest installment, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
FanRocket founder Danny Kastner said he is aiming to get a few hundred thousand users within two months and added that the company is in talks with other Hollywood studios to package their titles on VooZoo.
Ameriprise to begin offering credit cards
Asset manager Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. is pairing up with MasterCard Inc. to become a credit card lender for the first time, the two companies planned to announce tonday.
It looks like a tough time to be entering the credit card space.
Default and delinquency rates are climbing from what had been historically low levels due to the housing slump and a rebound in bankruptcies.
But the deal illustrates how lucrative companies still regard the card business, particularly when it targets big spenders.
For Ameriprise, whose more than 2 million clients are mostly wealthy, underwriting looks fairly low-risk.
And for MasterCard, the advantage is gaining a bit more market share in the affluent segment. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Ameriprise will issue its clients both MasterCard credit cards and debit cards. The credit cards will have interest rates ranging from 7.5 percent to 11 percent.
The credit lines will vary widely, depending on the client, and many will have no preset spending limits.