While Internet Broadcasting System (IBS) may not come to mind as readily as ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, IBS has created and is operating its own network of website properties for 75 local TV stations in 60 markets. For advertisers who tend to avoid cross-media buys because they can't find easy to execute, multi-market media opportunities, they need not look any further than Internet Broadcasting Systems.
Currently, IBS has a local presence in each of the Top 10, and 22 of the Top 25, US markets. This network of sites represents the partnership with television stations owned by NBC, Hearst-Argyle, Cox, Washington Post Company, McGraw-Hill, and others. Since the majority of people don't watch TV during daytime hours, these at-work viewers can stay informed of local and national news simply by clicking on their favorite station's websites during working hours. "We bill ourselves as 'TV at Work,'Ó says Tolman Geffs, chief executive officer of IBS. "Our sites get 13 million unique viewers per month, with 75% of these visits occurring Monday-Friday, 8:00am through 6:00pm. This is prime work time.Ó
Although three-fourths of IBS' ad sales are generated from local markets, the true growth potential comes from national ad sales. "We are pushing hard on the national revenue front,Ó says Geffs. "The positioning is local audience + national reach + power of TV.Ó Ad opportunities include 10 to 15 second TV spots, flash animation and a variety of banner opportunities. Marriot, The New York Times, Google and British Tourism are among the participants currently running ads on the IBS Network of local TV websites.
However, the real strength of IBS as an ad platform might be its ability to integrate the online properties with the broadcast properties it represents. One of the first advertisers to use IBS in this new cross-media promotional platform is AutoTrader.com, the largest automotive classifieds site on the Web. AutoTrader.com will power the "Find Your Car, Sell Your CarÓ and "Auction-StyleÓ classified listings on the network of IBS sites. In addition, for certain markets, IBS will run television promotions that localize the current AutoTrader.com on-air commercial campaign. This unique on-air/online convergence will reach 41 of the top 50 U.S. markets. The campaign will include site content integration, 250x250 banner ads and on-air 30-second TV spots, which direct the viewer to the local TV website to conduct their car searches.
HotJobs, Travelocity, MatchMaker, and HomeStore are among those also running cross-media campaigns with IBS.