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FROM GOTHAM TO GINZA: NEW YORK'S ENTERTAINMENT DRIVE ONLINE IN JAPAN
2.5 Million on NIFTY SERVE Get eDrive in Japanese
NEW YORK, NY -- Entertainment Drive LLC and NIFTY Corporation today announced the expansion of its online offerings to include Entertainment Drive Station (GO EDRIVE) on NIFTY SERVE, Japan's leading commercial online service. Over 2.5 million members of NIFTY SERVE will have online access to the best in American entertainment information direct from New York and Hollywood, including news and gossip, production notes, publicity photos, movie poster art and celebrity interviews. Entertainment Drive (eDrive) has been CompuServe's leading entertainment information provider since 1994, with Forum communities for movies, TV, soap opera and home video. eDrive also showcases a website at http://www.eDrive.com. The eDrive site on NIFTY SERVE will be entirely in Japanese, and will be hosted from eDrive's New York City headquarters by Japanese sysops, a first for NIFTY SERVE.
"Entertainment Drive was born with the idea that new technology has the potential to bring the people of the world closer together around common interests," explained Michael Bolanos, the founder, president and CEO of Entertainment Drive LLC. "Entertainment crosses global boundaries and helps unify people in positive, powerful ways. We're delighted to work with NIFTY SERVE to broaden its services in the important consumer and entertainment areas."
"We are very pleased to welcome Entertainment Drive to NIFTY SERVE," said Tomoo Okada, President of NIFTY Corporation. "eDrive is the first service to bring the world's greatest entertainers to the Japanese online audience directly from New York and Hollywood. This is very exciting for us and for our members."
Entertainment Drive Station on NIFTY SERVE is an exciting location where fans correspond on message boards and in live conference rooms, and download text, software, and multimedia files, many of which have never before been available to the Japanese public. Like over one million CompuServe members who use Entertainment Drive regularly, NIFTY SERVE members can talk about their favorite shows and stars, and even watch movie previews using the eDrive Movie Viewer, a simple software program that allows the user to play a variety of media files on their computer, including sounds, pictures and movie scenes.
"Entertainment Drive was one of the first to envision the potential of online media for the entertainment industry," said Don Buckley, Senior Vice President of Theatrical Marketing and new Media at Warner Bros. "eDrive was first to present Warner Bros. films online and their presence in Japan will be cause for celebration among movie fans." One of the earliest innovators in bringing the entertainment industry online, Entertainment Drive was first to bring stars such as Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, John Carpenter, Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, Mick Jagger, Spike Lee, Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone and many others to fans via computer.
New York-based Entertainment Drive (eDrive) premiered on CompuServe (Nasdaq: CSRV) in early 1994, and quickly became one of the most successful content providers on the service. Dubbed "one of the most popular supersites on CompuServe" in the June, 1997 issue of Internet World magazine, the eDrive family of forums have registered more than one million members, and continue to rank among CompuServe's top ten attractions. The Entertainment Drive website, located at http://www.eDrive.com , was named one of the "Top 100 Sites" in PC Magazine's 1997 "Best of the Web" issue and recently won the coveted "Webby" award. eDrive.com is also a Premier Active Channel on Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Internet Explorer 4.0.
NIFTY Corporation is Japan's top online service company with over 2.5 million members. It is a joint venture between Fujitsu and Nissho Iwai and its service, NIFTY SERVE, is licensed from CompuServe. NIFTY SERVE offers members a Japanese language-based electronic mail system, an Internet connection, and access to Japanese news wires and financial information, along with community feature areas similar to CompuServe's Forums. Founded in 1935, Fujitsu Limited (TSE: JFUJ) is an international leader in information technology, telecommunications, semiconductors and other electronics devices. The Fujitsu Group of over 400 technology, software and service companies posted global revenues of more than $36 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1997.
Journalists interested in discussing the changes in Japanese online services are welcome to arrange an interview with eDrive President and CEO Michael Bolanos. U.S. and international entertainment companies seeking online publicity in Japan should contact Russell P. Granger, Vice President of Programming.