ZelnickMedia to acquire OTX
January, 6 2004
Zelnick Group to Invest in Online Market Reserach
ZelnickMedia today announced the acquisition of OTX, the online market research service, from its parent company IFILM Corporation. Founded in 2000 by research industry veteran Shelley Zalis, OTX has grown rapidly in the past three years. The company specializes in both consumer brand and entertainment industry market research and is a leader in the application of online testing for quantitative and qualitative research. The company's clients include major film studios as well as leading Fortune 500 packaged goods marketers.
The acquisition represents two milestones for the three year-old ZelnickMedia: It is ZelnickMedia's first investment in market research, as well as their first West Coast-based acquisition. OTX will continue to be managed by founder and Chief Executive Officer Shelley Zalis. ZelnickMedia partner Strauss Zelnick will serve as Chairman of the Board. Scott Siegler, who leads Santa Monica-based ZelnickMedia West, is the ZelnickMedia partner in charge of the company's OTX investment.
"I am delighted by today's announcement," said Ms. Zalis. "Our goal has always been to make OTX the most innovative, effective and efficient research partner for clients in all of our markets. ZelnickMedia will provide OTX with both the strategic partnership and the financial resources to maximize our ability to serve our customers."
"We are interested in investing in and managing companies that help make the media and entertainment marketplace more efficient," said Mr. Siegler. "We believe that OTX has built a better mouse trap, and that on-line data collection and testing is faster, more accurate, and less expensive than off-line alternatives."
"We plan to work with OTX to aggressively expand its business both organically and by acquisition," said Mr. Zelnick. "There is no better executive leadership in market research than Shelley Zalis and her team."
"Shelley and her colleagues have built a great business and IFILM is proud to be part of this success story," said Adam Frank, CEO of IFILM Corp. "We believe that being in business with ZelnickMedia is a terrific opportunity for OTX to continue as a pioneer in online market research."
For the entertainment industry, OTX conducts research including creative testing, tracking, screenings, and virtual exit polling. OTX conducts online testing of television commercials, consumer goods packaging and brand identity for Fortune 500 marketers. Through its "powered by" offering, OTX also provides state of the art online research capabilities to several of the industry's largest advertising research firms. The Los Angeles-based company has over 70 full time employees and offices in New York, Cincinnati, and San Antonio, as well as strategic affiliates in Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
Market research executive Shelley Zalis founded OTX in 2000. Ms. Zalis had previously spent fourteen years at ASI, rising to the rank of executive vice president. In 1998 she moved to VNU where she built the entertainment industry's first on-line testing application before founding OTX. Bruce Friend, most recently senior vice president of Research for Columbia TriStar Worldwide Marketing Group, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, heads the OTX entertainment division. Kevin Goetz, who joined the company from NRG, heads OTX's screening division. Roger Fleschig, the former CEO and president of IPSOS/ASI North America, and a respected leader in copy testing and advertising research, heads the company's consumer brand division. OTX Co-founder, Kristin Luck will continue as executive vice president of operations.
ZelnickMedia is a partnership of experienced media executives that owns interests in, advises, and manages an array of media enterprises in recorded music, catalog and online retailing, CD manufacturing, online games, and media-related software in the U.S., Euope and Asia. The partnership includes Strauss Zelnick, former CEO of BMG Entertainment and president/COO of 20th Century Fox, Scott Siegler, former president of Tri-Star Television, Columbia Pictures Television and Granada Entertainment U.S.A., Ben Feder, who served as an executive vice president of News Corporation, Jim Friedlich, most recently a senior publishing executive with The Wall Street Journal, Karl Slatoff, most recently vice president of New Media at BMG, and Jordan Turkewitz, former senior director of acquisitions and investments for Jupitermedia.