Does anyone remember life before Rotten Tomatoes? I sure as hell don’t.
First off, Rotten Tomatoes has been around longer than you think, having allegedly been founded in August 1998. However, it really took off in 2010 when it was acquired by Flixster, who were later acquired by Warners Bros.
Anyway, about eight years after their first acquisition, it’s the 362nd (per Alexa) ranked website in the world and the 138th ranked website in the United States. Not too shabby.
Well, maybe it is too shabby, as the movie aggregator just announced massive changes to how they’ll be doing things behind the scenes.
RT announced on Tuesday that it is shifting its aggregation focus to lean more heavily on individuals over outlets, and to seek a much broader and more diverse base of critics. Real, human critics. The Fandango-owned site will add hundreds of critics to its aggregation pool, raising its underrepresented demographics (notably women and people of color) by a minimum of 20 percent, as previously announced at Sundance and TIFF. Prior to this change, women accounted for 22 percent of the approved critics, while people of color accounted for just 18 percent of the pool. In addition, Rotten Tomatoes intends to launch a demographics study, and to launch an initiative to help critics attend film festivals if they otherwise lack the means.
Some of these new critics will come from new platforms, including non-traditional media formats like critics who deliver podcast and online video reviews of movies. While not every podcast will constitute inclusion in the aggregation pool, it’s certainly a solid means of attempting to combat the stodgy arms-length image of “film critic” that leaves many movie fans turned off.
You can read the full statement from Rotten Tomatoes here.