As widely reported broadcaster ITV has bought Friends Reunited for a not inconsiderable £120m ($208m).
In truth it came as no surprise. Friends Reunited was one of the very few sites launched during the dot.com boom which was profitable early on and has remained so through the hard times. It wasn't a site which went head one with traditional offerings (online shopping vs. high street shopping) but instead offered something new and fresh it's this which appealed to ITV. Not to mention the advertising revenues and the 60 odd million registered users!
In fact the Friends Reunited part of the site may in fact just be a bit part player for ITV. With 15 million users Friends is significantly dwarfed by its younger, yet bigger, sibling Genes Reunited, which has 46 million users. Genes opens up a whole new audience based in the US where family tree building is big business and where targetted advertising and content distribution could really take off.
Other parts of the Reunited brand include Dating, Jobs and Connections. We may yet see a Friends TV show featuring Cilla'esque Surprise Surprise and Blind Date moments - please no!
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