America Online has quietly begun to roll out a new media player that has rich media ad opportunities built in, ClickZ has learned.
The player will show :15 video spots before every other clip, which will be complemented by a synchronized "ad curtain" -- a 300x60 rich media unit that expands to 300x240 while the video plays, and then returns to its original size. AOL is using DoubleClick's Motif technology to enable the animation and the ad curtain, and technology from LightningCast for ad serving and playlist functionality.
The new player was implemented on AOL's entertainment properties for subscribers and the general Web audience last week, and on news properties for subscribers this week. More properties will be added in coming weeks, and it will be fully rolled out with AOL's broader Web launch expected in mid-summer, Fred McIntyre, VP of AOL Video, told ClickZ News.
AOL has a large library of more than 10,000 on-demand video clips in its various properties, including news, music videos, TV programming and sports. Until now, the video player used for each channel was unique to the channel.
"AOL rushed into the video business as part of our broadband subscription business. The focus was on getting top quality programming, and not on building a consistent product platform," McIntyre said. "This is the first step down our road map to make the video experience consistent and coherent across all of our media properties."
This project was pursued along with another deal AOL made with DoubleClick last week to use the DART for Publishers ad management platform across all AOL brands.
That deal specifies DoubleClick will develop enhancements to the DFP platform, some of which will address issues unique to AOL technology.
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Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.
Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.
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