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Case Study
Oct 23, 2023

Rotten Tomatoes Affiliate Revenue Success Tripled

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Rotten Tomatoes, a well-known platform for movie and TV show reviews and ratings, plays a crucial role in providing comprehensive insights for film enthusiasts. With a strategic emphasis on affiliate links, Rotten Tomatoes recognizes the importance of sales commissions, particularly derived from product reviews and recommendations, as a substantial revenue stream. The integration of Vendo introduces an exciting opportunity for Rotten Tomatoes to potentially amplify its sales commissions—potentially experiencing a remarkable 3-5x increase. By seamlessly incorporating shoppable products and a user-friendly shopping experience into its platform, Rotten Tomatoes can strategically enhance its monetization efforts, providing an enriched and interactive experience for movie and TV show enthusiasts.


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Unlocking Success in Digital Publishing

Rotten Tomatoes is a widely used online review aggregator that compiles film and television reviews from critics and audiences to provide a consolidated rating known as the Tomatometer. Established in 1998, Rotten Tomatoes has become a go-to source for moviegoers and TV enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive overview of critical and audience reception. The platform's distinctive rating system, which categorizes reviews as either "fresh" or "rotten," has influenced public perceptions of films and television shows.

Success Factors of Rotten Tomatoes

1. Aggregation of Critical Reviews:

Rotten Tomatoes' success is primarily attributed to its aggregation of critical reviews from professional film and television critics. The Tomatometer provides a percentage score based on the number of positive ("fresh") and negative ("rotten") reviews, offering a quick snapshot of critical consensus.

2. Audience Ratings and Reviews:

The inclusion of audience ratings and reviews alongside critic reviews adds a valuable layer to Rotten Tomatoes' content. Allowing users to contribute their opinions fosters a sense of community engagement and provides a more comprehensive view of a film or TV show's reception.

3. Tomatometer Certification:

The Tomatometer certification has become a recognizable symbol of a movie or TV show's critical acclaim or lack thereof. The certification has the power to influence audience perceptions and can significantly impact a project's success or failure.

4. User-Friendly Interface:

Rotten Tomatoes' user-friendly interface makes it easy for visitors to access information about movies and TV shows. The platform's design allows users to quickly understand critical and audience reception, read reviews, and make informed viewing decisions.

5. Metacritic Partnership:

A partnership with Metacritic, another popular review aggregation site, enhances Rotten Tomatoes' credibility. The dual presentation of Tomatometer scores and Metascores provides a more comprehensive overview of critical reception.

6. Industry Influence:

Rotten Tomatoes has established itself as a significant player in the entertainment industry. Studios, filmmakers, and marketing teams often reference Tomatometer scores in promotional materials, and the platform's influence extends to box office performance.

7. Certified Fresh and Golden Tomato Awards:

The introduction of the "Certified Fresh" designation for movies and TV shows that achieve a high Tomatometer score, as well as the annual Golden Tomato Awards, adds an element of recognition and prestige. These features highlight standout performances in critical reception.

8. Mobile App Accessibility:

The availability of a mobile app ensures that users can access Rotten Tomatoes on various devices. The mobile app's features, including personalized recommendations and the ability to check scores on the go, contribute to user convenience.

9. Expansion Beyond Film:

Rotten Tomatoes has expanded its coverage beyond films to include television shows and streaming content. This expansion caters to the evolving preferences of audiences and positions Rotten Tomatoes as a comprehensive source for entertainment reviews.

10. Transparency in Rating Calculation:

Rotten Tomatoes maintains transparency in its rating calculation by clearly explaining how the Tomatometer score is derived. This transparency enhances user trust in the platform's rating system and methodology.

Rotten Tomatoes' Audience and Their Values

Rotten Tomatoes primarily caters to moviegoers and TV enthusiasts who value quick and accessible insights into critical and audience reception. Users appreciate the platform's ability to help them make informed decisions about what to watch.

Suggestions for Sustaining and Enhancing Success

1. Continuous Improvement in User Interface:

Prioritize ongoing enhancements to the user interface to ensure a seamless and engaging experience for visitors. Streamlining navigation and incorporating user feedback can contribute to overall user satisfaction.

2. Explore Integration with Streaming Platforms:

Explore partnerships or integrations with popular streaming platforms to provide users with direct access to content from Rotten Tomatoes. This can create a more integrated viewing experience and increase user engagement.

3. Expand Coverage to Other Media:

Consider expanding coverage to include other forms of media, such as video games, books, or music. Diversifying content offerings can attract a broader audience and position Rotten Tomatoes as a comprehensive entertainment review platform.

4. Deeper Integration of Audience Reviews:

Further integrate audience reviews into the platform by exploring features that highlight user-generated content, such as user reviews of specific scenes, discussions, or personalized recommendations based on individual preferences.

5. Enhanced Personalization:

Invest in personalized recommendation features that consider users' viewing history, preferences, and reviews. Tailoring recommendations based on individual tastes can enhance user engagement and satisfaction.

6. Explore Partnerships with Film Festivals:

Establish partnerships with film festivals to provide early reviews and insights for upcoming releases. Collaborating with film festivals can position Rotten Tomatoes as a source for exclusive and pre-release content.

7. Address Concerns About Critic Diversity:

Address concerns about diversity among critics by actively promoting and including reviews from a more diverse range of voices. This can enhance the credibility and relevance of Rotten Tomatoes in an increasingly diverse media landscape.

8. Gamification and Rewards:

Implement gamification elements and rewards for user participation, such as writing reviews, engaging in discussions, or achieving certain milestones. This can foster a sense of community and encourage continued user involvement.

9. Educational Content on Film Critique:

Provide educational content on the art of film critique and analysis. Offering insights into the criteria used by critics and explaining the nuances of film evaluation can enhance users' understanding of reviews.

10. International Expansion and Localization:

Consider expanding coverage and localization efforts to cater to international audiences. Providing reviews and content in multiple languages can broaden Rotten Tomatoes' global reach and appeal.

In conclusion, Rotten Tomatoes' success is built on its role as a comprehensive review aggregator for movies and TV shows. By continuously improving its features, exploring new content verticals, and addressing user feedback, Rotten Tomatoes can sustain and enhance its position as a trusted resource for entertainment enthusiasts.

However, you might want to consider a different route for generating income from your online audience.

Establish your multi-brand marketplace on Vendo to potentially triple your affiliate sales commission, reaching an impressive 20-30%.

In the context of extended user engagement on your pages, envision a rise in customer data retention that will drive the growth of your email list and open up a spectrum of potential upselling opportunities.


  • Book a demo call: We’ll set up your demo marketplace and populate it with products
  • Customize your Storefront: We’ll help you craft a storefront that aligns with your branding guidelines,
  • Onboard Brands: Invite your favorite brands or choose brands from the Vendo brand catalog. We can also start reaching out to brands you’d like to sell on your behalf.
  • Select Products: Curate product collections manually or automate the process to efficiently manage your catalog and meet customer demand.
  • Embed products: Make your editorial content shoppable with products embedded right where your customers expect them to find. Simplify and streamline product discovery.
  • Start Selling Programmatically: Push products through multiple touch points: on your website, share it on social media, and include products in your newsletters. 
  • Get Paid: Get paid as soon as products are shipped by the brands. No need to wait 30-60 days or worry about orders not attributable to your affiliate links.
  • Get Repeat Sales: Since you’re not linking out, your customers will keep coming back. We’ll help them with abandoned cart emails and promotional email blasts. 


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