RealNetworks, AOL partner on Web ads

RealNetworks said Thursday that it had clinched a major deal to deliver its video and audio streaming technology to AOL that will enable the Internet provider to offer richer advertising. Up to now, the Seattle-based provider of digital content software had provided its technology for content carried by AOL, a unit of AOL Time Warner, the world's largest media company.

The new deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, will allow AOL to offer interactive and multimedia advertising on its Internet service, the largest in the United States with more than 35 million users.

An advertising industry slump exacerbated by a weak economy has hit AOL's ad business hard, and AOL had said it was looking for ways to boost advertising. Much of the advertising on the Internet up to now has been limited to static "banner" ads, but recently more interactive advertisements have been popping up, thanks to spread of faster broadband Internet connections. For RealNetworks, the deal represents a potentially lucrative revenue source.

News source: C|net

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