Targeted Ads In Streaming Broadcasts On The Rise
iBeam Broadcasting, a broadcast network for high quality streaming video and audio based in Sunnyvale, CA, announced it has served more than 12 million streaming ads across its network since the launch of its On-Target streaming ad insertion service in May of this year. According to iBeam, this is the only service which is able to automatically target and insert streaming ads into broadcasts over the Internet.
The service works in conjunction with RealNetworks' latest streaming media player, RealSystem 8. The service is designed for seamless integration of ads around content, making the quality comparable to standard broadcast media. iBeam has also partnered with Engage which provides the campaign management technology for the service.
Tom Hull, VP of Media Systems, RealNetworks, says "streaming advertising provides companies with the ability to reach consumers in a new and engaging way. The integration of On-Target with RealSystem 8 allows iBEAM customers the opportunity to send compelling, rich, and targeted advertising to the more than 140 million unique registered RealPlayer users." Indeed, streaming media is a great tool for story telling and branding, and this service adds an important targeting element.
Part of the service's increasing popularity in the online advertising world is due to its ability to target ads based on demographics, geographics, and the type of content being watched. As Shrey Bhatia, Director of Marketing for iBeam, explains "the service may insert an ad for a teen watching a Britney Spears concert." He says that since iBeam serves the content, it knows the content type and location. For demographic information, iBeam is able to access Engage's repository of 80 million profiles. All targeting is done anonymously, easing privacy concerns.
Interactive capabilities have also been added to the service, allowing potential customers to click through streaming video ads to make purchases, request more information, respond to surveys, or visit an advertiser's Web site.
For media buyers and planners, this service has filled a gap in the measurable, accountable nature of Internet advertising. "It's a much more efficient way to advertise rather than shots in the dark, and more cost-effective since there's less wasted coverage. This can only help buyers and planners of online media," says Bhatia.
"With offline broadcast media, targeting is mostly based on demographics or DMA's. On the Web, more behavioral targeting is possible, now with full-motion video," explains Debbie Hughes, Product Manager for Advertising and Sponsorships for iBeam. She adds that it's still too early to do a direct cost comparison between targeted streaming and other forms of online advertising.
Despite the advantages, there is no hard data available yet on results it has generated for advertisers by itself or compared to other methods. Bhatia explains that iBeam is in talks with a number of measure