Maven Upgrades Video Platform

Broadband media company Maven Networks today will unveil a new platform that allows online publishers to offer streaming video as well as downloads. The new product--the third version of Maven Media System--also enables automatic ad serving in concert with ad networks such as DoubleClick, 24/7 Real Media, and Lightningcast.

"Until recently, most publishers were only experimenting with broadband video, so the need to integrate with ad serving networks didn't really exist," says Samantha Stone, director of product marketing for Cambridge, Mass.-based Maven. But now that media companies are treating Internet video as more than a passing fad, the ability to serve ads efficiently has become increasingly important.

The Maven Media System is intended to deliver full-screen, DVD-quality images and sound to a PC by downloading and storing video files on a hard disc for replay later. Its ad-serving capability allows for pre-and post-roll video ad insertions and synchronization for banner and video ads. Stone says that the Maven media software can also serve ads for downloaded videos and track usage, whether or not videos contain advertising.

Among the first to employ the latest version of the Maven system is Time Out New York, which has launched a new broadband companion site to its local cable channel, Time Out New York on Demand. Initial advertisers on the site--which provides video reviews and profiles of New York City restaurants and other attractions--are HGTV and Their 15-second pre-roll ads and banners will run every other time a video is played on the site. Other undisclosed advertisers on the site are expected to follow.

A&E Television Networks and GMTV, the European equivalent of the "Today Show," are also using the new Maven software for broadband video sites.

In addition to the new ad-serving capability, the latest Maven software allows consumers to stream video, and to download a video file for offline viewing. Viewers are now able to see a trailer for a TV show or a movie before deciding to download the whole program. "We think the combination of the two is very compelling," says Maven's Stone. Maven's venture investors include Accell Partners and General Catalyst Partners.

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