Falk Unveils System That Supports All Rich Media Formats

by , Apr 28, 2004, 12:00 AM
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Falk eSolutions AG today unveiled a new rich media management system that will support all existing rich media formats, something the company says is the first of its kind.

AdSolution FX, the new management system, is positioned as an extension of Falk's AdSolution ad-server platform. The new product will also include pop-up blocker detection, which seamlessly converts pop-ups to other formats when pop-up blocking software is detected on a user's computer.

Through AdSolution, advertisers can serve all manner of interactive ads for a given campaign, including rich media formats up to 1 MB. This includes banners, expandable banners, transitional ads, pop-ups and pop-unders, and "floating" or layered ads. The product also supports all management and tracking features, including tracking user interactions.

Falk CEO Joe Apprendi says that the idea behind FX is to minimize the cost and hassle involved with using multiple providers. He says that complexity and cost have traditionally been barriers to advertiser usage. According to Apprendi, "you can't make rich media mainstream with a $5 per CPM [cost per thousand] ad-serving fee. That's not a sustainable model, especially if you want the technology to go mainstream."

Apprendi says that FX will be a more affordable solution, but would not disclose pricing. "We're bringing AdSolutionFX to market at 80 percent less on average than the current market price." This price point, he says, makes more sense: "It finally demystifies the value to marketers for a premium technology."

As the online ad industry evolves, ad-serving consolidation is becoming more apparent in deals like the exclusive agreement recently signed between ad-serving giant DoubleClick and interactive agency GSD&M Advertising, Austin, Texas. Apprendi says that he expects similar deals in the future, because in the end, one solution makes more sense for advertisers from a cost and efficiency standpoint.

Apprendi adds that FX delivers any file, any size, any provider--and complies with the Interactive Advertising Bureau rule of "polite" loading of all files over 30K in user cache folders, so as not to obstruct page views. "The last thing in the world we would ever do is not serve Eyeblaster, Unicast, and PointRoll [ads] ... We're agnostic," Apprendi adds.

FX also incorporates a controversial pop-up detection blocker, which will help alert advertisers when a user has a pop-up blocker installed. It will instantly convert pop-up and pop-under inventory to other formats for delivery to those users.

Apprendi concedes that the feature could infuriate consumers, but he notes that 6 million to 7 million pop-ups were delivered in March, generating $12 million in revenue. He says that it will be up to policy-makers to decide what to do about pop-up blockers and the new pop-up blocker detector. "How can you address a user concern and also address publisher and marketer objectives? The last thing the market wants to see is $12 million vaporize,"he says.

Falk AdSolution ranks as the No. 2 Application Service Provider solution worldwide, serving 12 billion ads per month.

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