March 5, 2008, 12:00 AM

Barnes & Noble shoppers get multimedia access to all things books

Barnes & Noble Studio is a new multimedia microsite on BarnesandNoble.com that will give shoppers a venue to find and exchange information on books and writers.

Barnes & Noble Inc. is bringing together video and audio resources and reader-generated reviews on a web microsite to give consumers access to writers and additional content. The company also reported that 2007 web sales increased 13.4% to $477 million.

Barnes & Noble Studio offers a range of original content about books, readers and writers, and showcases web video series and other multimedia content about varied aspects of literature, complemented by user-generated material.

“Barnes & Noble Studio will be the destination for book lovers. A place where readers will go for inspiration and discovery, to view and listen to content and recommend it to other readers who share their literary interests and passions,” says Mike Skagerlind, vice president and head of digital media for BarnesandNoble.com. He recently joined Barnes & Noble after 12 years at MTV Networks, where most recently he was the general manager of Nickelodeon Online.

Content on the Barnes & Noble microsite includes Tagged! and Book Obsessed, two five-minute video shows that serve, respectively, as a magazine-style weekly web series that reviews what’s happening in the book world and a documentary-style look at passionate readers and their world through the books they love.

The microsite will be heavy on video-based content and includes 16 book “channels,” featuring a range of book-related videos organized into literary categories such as diet & health, historical fiction, paranormal, and romance.

The book channels feature a mix of both Barnes & Noble-produced video and audio content and publisher book videos. There are more than 700 video and audio pieces so far, including author interviews, live in-store performances and readings, and trailers from publishing houses.

BarnesandNoble.com, No. 33 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, also reported web sales of $477 million for the 2007 fiscal year, ended Feb. 2, 2008. Sales were up 13.4% compared with 2006.

Fourth quarter web sales were $177 million, up by 13.1% compared to the prior year quarter.

Barnes & Noble store sales were $4.64 billion for the full year and $1.51 billion for the quarter. Comparable store sales increased 1.8% for the year but decreased 0.5% for the fourth quarter.

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