DoubleClick Rolls Out New Rich Media Product

DoubleClick, Inc. Tuesday unveiled a new streaming video feature for DART Motif, its rich media ad-serving product, that will allow marketers to repurpose television commercials as flash-based streaming video within existing rich media formats.

Separately, the ad-serving giant also recently signed a full-service agreement with America Online, owner of some of the Web's most coveted and expensive real estate.

Motif streaming video is only available within each ad unit. In-stream video, or ads that appear prior to or during broadband video content, are not supported by Motif. Depending on advertiser/publisher preference, the streaming video function can run independently of user interaction. In-banner streaming video is nothing new; rich media providers like Eyeblaster and PointRoll offer similar products.

The new rich media product received a lukewarm response from JupiterResearch analyst Nate Elliott, who said that consumers find streaming video inside rich media banners more annoying than in-stream ads: "Sites consistently report that auto-initiated audio and video banners get the most consumer pushback of any rich media format, including floating ads," he said.

Previously, AOL would only accept Motif's non-expandable banners; it now accepts all of Motif's rich media formats, including floating, expandable banners, and in-page ads. Motif recently added MSN to its publisher list in August.

Jupiter's Elliott said that the AOL acceptance was especially significant because it strengthens Motif's publisher network. "With MSN and AOL on board, this is now a real option for advertisers," he said.

DART Motif Product Manager Ari Paparo emphasized that the streaming capability will enable advertisers to repurpose their television commercials in any creative type across Motif's publisher base, which now includes Time Warner Web property America Online. "I think we'll see a lot of this," Paparo said of repurposed TV commercials.

According to Dynamic Logic, an online ad industry market research firm, online video ads double the impact on brand awareness, ad awareness, message association, brand favorability, and purchase intent when compared to the average performance of online ads. Nevertheless, rich media remains a relatively small industry; JupiterResearch predicts spending will hit $141 million this year.

Motif streaming video supports up to two megs of streaming media, immediately identifies bandwidth usage, and streams directly into a user's browser window without pre-loading in users' cache folders. According to DoubleClick, seven new reporting metrics are being added to the DART Motif reporting system, including video plays, video completions, pauses, stops, restarts, mutes, and average view time.

DART Motif's list of publishers includes AOL, CBS, Inc., Cox Interactive Media, MSN, MTV Networks, and

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