REAL MEDIA EXPANDS WITH MULTIMEDIA FIRMS

By: Staff Reports

Revamped Ad Technology Company Broadens Focus


Now that Real Media is officially a division of Switzerland’s PubliGroupe, the company wants to make sure its fortunes aren’t tied to Web sites alone. In 2001, Real Media will focus on multiple channel advertising, including the Web, e-mail, wireless, broadcast, and that old dinosaur, print.

As part of that effort, Real Media has partnered with six rich-media technology companies, E&P Online has learned. The deals will integrate advanced advertising technology into Real Media’s Open AdStream ad serving technology, which is used by hundreds of newspapers and other sites around the world.

The new Real Media partners and their technologies are:

o BlueStreak (enables streaming graphics within banner ads)
o ClickVu (lets users save, share, or link to banner ads)
o Enliven (streaming technology that enriches banners with Flash and java)
o Eyewonder (offers full-motion audio/video streaming without need for special players, downloads, or plug-ins)
o PointRoll (uses mouseover to bring up advertiser information without users needing to click on the ad)
o Unicast (the company’s Superstitials are full screen ads with audio, animation, and rich graphics)

Real Media will also be working with NetCreations Inc. and yesmail.com to add e-mail components to marketing campaigns.

The company broadens its focus at a time when advertising is slowing and publishers are struggling to find new revenues. After a restructuring that began in December and ended recently, PubliGroupe now owns 80% of Real Media, and PubliGroupe executive Walter Annasohn is running day-to-day operations as president and CEO. Advance Publications owns about 10% and the company’s founder, Dave Morgan, and employees own the rest. Morgan remains as co-chairman and is involved with strategic development.

Though not widely known, Real Media was already helping some of its clients deliver advertising in spaces beyond the Web. For example, several companies are using Real Media’s Open AdStream software to deliver ads along with news headlines to wireless devices such as cell phones. They include USAToday.com and Weather.com. The same technology is used to serve ads to advanced wireless systems in Germany, Korea, Sweden, and Switzerland. In the UK, the software is serving ads into interactive television.

While much of the focus is on multimedia, the company isn’t forgetting about print. Annasohn told E&P Online recently that PubliGroupe will begin training its worldwide print reps to sell online advertising, in a training process that typically takes three to six months. PubliGroupe’s main business has always been overseas ad sales for print publications, but Annasohn wants to shift the focus to include package deals that include print and new media.

Also in the print field, Real Media recently signed an agreement to exclusively represent 34 alternative weekly Web sites for online ad sales, including the sites of Village Voice Media Inc. and the Ruxton Group.



Related story:

REAL MEDIA ANNOUNCES RESTRUCTURING (12/26/00)



Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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