MSN To Stream Videos From Maxim

In an effort that might turn on advertisers in search of 18- to-34-year-old males, MSN Video has added video content from "laddie mag" Maxim to its broad catalog, MSN announced yesterday.

The agreement between Maxim Online and MSN Video will give Internet consumers free, on-demand access to Maxim video content, which mirrors the magazine's standard fare: women and the fashion, music, and cars that attract them. Maxim Online will provide five new one- to-two-minute videos a week, which can be found in the entertainment section of MSN Video.

Joe Michaels, senior business development manager at MSN, attributes video-over-Internet's strong growth to increased broadband and improvements in the quality of the content on offer. "The number of video streams downloaded from MSN video is growing exponentially," Michaels said.

But, before users can watch, say, British race car driver Dario Franchitti delivering the latest "intel" on the new Aston Martin V12 Vanquish sports car, they have to sit through either a 15- or 30-second advertisement for Listerine, Miller, or Visa. "We'll run one ad for every two clips a user watches, which amounts to an 8:1 or 10:1 ratio," explained MSN's video expert Todd Herman, whose official title is "Streaming Evangelist."

From model photo shoots to video interviews with cultural icons, Maxim's content adds to MSN Video's current array of lad-centric offerings such as Discovery Networks, Fox Sports, and Weird TV. And, not only does MSN's featured content attract young males, said Herman, but it reaches them where the ones with spending money are most likely to be: at work. "I like to say that the video break has replaced the smoking break in most corporate settings today," Herman said.

Maxim--owned by Dennis Publishing, Inc., which also publishes Stuff magazine--is not in the video production business, but they have had a video department for four years for marketing and public relations purposes, said Roger Munford, general manager of Maxim's Internet division. "Instead of using PowerPoint presentations to show at conferences and to advertisers, we made videos," Munford said. "We've known for a long time what a huge draw video would be, but until recently serving bills were too high, and we just couldn't handle the bandwidth," he added.

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