Wikipedia's Wales' commercial venture targets European brands

Wikia: targets European brands
Wikia: targets European brands

Wikia, the commercial venture backed by the founder of online encyclopaedia Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, is opening a London-based sales house to service European brands and advertising agencies.

Wikia was launched in 2004 and has more than 150,000 communities devoted to special interests such as cult programmes 'Lost' and 'Mad Men'.

Richard Yu, Wikia's European sales director, said the decision to enter the European market is due to the success of the site in the US.

He said: "We are getting over 900 million page views, and we just broke the 31 million unique users a month [barrier].

"Users are engaging with the brand because the average user stays on the site for about 10 minutes and the click-through rate is much higher with our audience rather than non user-generated sight models."

Jimmy Wales, the site's co-founder, said: "We are trying to provide brands with the opportunity to engage with the audience in unique and interesting ways."

Wikia is talking to Microsoft, Sony and EA, which are its largest investors in the US.

There will be opportunities for traditional advertising such as rich media and video links on the site, as well as in-content branding and custom Wikia pages.

While Wikia largely works with entertainment brands in the US, it will be looking to work with sports brands in the lead-up to the London Olympics. Plans include creating customised Wikia pages for athletes.

More on Brand Republic - Times paywall is a 'foolish experiment' says Wikipedia founder

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