How Rotten Tomatoes got the Tomatometer into iTunes

July 2, 2010: 1:34 PM ET

By John Patrick Pullen

Many companies want to cozy up with the colossus of Cupertino, but few get past the introductory handshake. Rotten Tomatoes general manager Shannon Ludovissy has three pieces of advice for people interested in working with Apple (AAPL).

1. Win Steve's heart: "We had always known through back channels that Steve Jobs was a big fan. He featured our site in a keynote speech at Macworld. We thought it would be worth a shot to reach out to the movies marketing group at iTunes, and started having conversations with them over a year ago."

2. Have patience: "We pitched them on some ideas, but at the time they really weren't ready for it for a lot of different reasons -- from a technology or marketing perspective. They just weren't ready to integrate a third-party partner. We just kept the lines of communication open. It might be weeks or a couple of months would go by and you wouldn't hear anything from anyone, and you'd just have to check in and let them know that you're still there, interested, and willing to work with them. Then they came to us one day and said, 'We're ready. Let's talk about it. Let's talk about specifics.' And it was full steam ahead."

3. Don't do it for money: "I would imagine that so many people approach Apple trying to figure out what Apple can do for their business. The way we approached it was -- obviously that's why we'd do it -- but how can we help contribute to their business as well. Their interest was in providing incremental information to help users make a purchasing decision. My feeling was that they really wanted to provide something that was an authentic experience."

Back to main story: Rotten Tomatoes gets fresh

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JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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