Net ads enter new dimension

The bells and whistles of online advertising are about to get louder.

EyeWonder, which makes video and audio streaming ad technology, said Thursday that it has signed on 50 new customers, including The Wall Street Journal Online, Forbes.com, eUniverse, the World Wrestling Federation and the Tribune newspapers. Through the agreements, the companies can resell EyeWonder's technology to advertising customers.

The Atlanta-based company's software lets marketers air TV-like broadcasts in Web ads, including banners and pop-up windows. Through Java, a programming language for adding animation and other action to Web sites, the streaming ads run without a separate player, or plug-in. Most of the ads play sound and video automatically once a Web surfer opens the hosted page.

John Keck, interactive media director for Foote Cone & Belding, called this the year of rich media and video streaming.

"As we respond to client demand to move the Web beyond the banner, almost everything we do know has an element of rich media and streaming technology," said Keck, whose agency plans ad campaigns for Compaq Computer and Taco Bell, among others. "We won't do a logo now that doesn't have something cool in it."

Demand for flashier online ads has driven many new products. In January, New York-based Unicast, the producer of a TV-like pop-up it calls the "superstitial," introduced an expanded format that caters to TV advertisers.

Shortly after, Unicast signed a deal with technology provider Klipmart to inject its ads with Java-based streaming similar to EyeWonder's technology. The company's newly launched Superstitial 300 lets marketers convert 30-second TV commercials into Web ads and gives them bigger file sizes to work with. Unicast's format is sold by more than 800 Web sites and ad networks, including DoubleClick and Terra Lycos.

News source: CNet News

View: EyeWonder

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