DriverTV Launches Ad Network
The network, which features the DriverTV's proprietary "Virtual Showroom Experience" videos, allows publishers and advertisers to pair targeted overlay and display ads with its targeted content.
The timing of this launch is ideal--since car manufacturers are looking for more efficient and cost-effective ways to sell cars, said Jan Renner, CEO of DriverTV. "They still have to find a way to sell 12 to 13 million cars next year."
At launch, the network's charter advertisers include General Motors, BMW and Volvo.
To date, the New York-based DriverTV has focused on producing, aggregating, and distributing promotional video for car shoppers.
In March, NBC Universal's NBCU Digital unit acquired a 35% stake in DriverTV for roughly $6 million.
"NBC was critical to the launch of the network from its earlier investment, to the expertise of their people--some of whom helped launch Hulu--to their industry relationships," Renner said.
The deal included rights to acquire a majority stake in DriverTV, along with an option to buy the company outright, at some future date.
Radical Media, a programming and advertising production company, still owns a majority stake in DriverTV.
The DriverTV player can be "skinned" to match the look and feel of any publisher site.
DriverTV also relied on content syndication-serving technology provider Adify to enable the sharing of generated ad revenue with network affiliates.
Launch network affiliates include Cox, Auto Trader, AutoMart, NBC Local Media, CBS Radio, AskPatty.com, Kosmix RightAutos and The Car Connection.
DriverTV is not the only company offering car manufacturers alternative marketing opportunities online. Just last week, Burst Media launched a behavioral targeting program to more effectively target auto ads across the Web.
The Burst Auto Intenders Network endeavors to move beyond content to include behavioral targeting of ads to consumers who have exhibited purchase-intent behaviors.