IAR Bits and Bytes

  |  May 10, 2001   |  Comments

RadioShack.com, MLB in online merchandise promotion; Subaru debuts pro rally racing site; streaming audio usage up.

RadioShack.com To Cash In On Baseball Fever

Radio Shack Corp. has teamed up with Major League Baseball in a promotion running from today through June 30th at the company's Web site, www.RadioShack.com.

The section of the Web site, "A-Rod's Clubhouse," will showcase special "fastball" offers on Radio Shack's baseball related merchandise, and all items featured can be purchased at RadioShack.com.

In order to further appeal to baseball fans, the promotion invites people to vote for their favorite All-Star baseball players at the Web site. Radio Shack will also be adding baseball trivia and interviews with Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez, who is also a Radio Shack spokesperson.

Visitors to RadioShack.com can also register for the All-Star Getaway sweepstakes, a trip for two to the July 10 All-Star game in Seattle, Washington.


Rally.Subaru.com First Cross-Promotional Venture With Sports Car Club of America

Subaru, in conjunction with the Sports Car Club of America, has launched a new Web site, Rally.Subaru.com.

Visitors to the Web site will be able to view images of the 2001 SCCA ProRally racing season, get the latest news updates, read team member biographies, and send email to the team.

Additionally, they can get real-time race results and performance specifications on the 2002 Impreza WRX Rally Team USA rally car.

Subaru and SCCA forged their strategic alliance in February 2001, with owners of the 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX models receiving a complimentary, one-year club membership. As part of the partnerships, Subaru was also designated an "Official Supporter of the SCCA."


More People Spending More Hours Listening to Streaming Audio

For the second consecutive week, the number of people listening to streaming audio over the Internet increased, according to the MeasureCast Internet Radio Report.

The MeasureCast Internet Radio Index, which tracks the total number of hours streamed by on-line broadcasters, also increased two percent, rising from 135 to 138. This represents a 38 percent increase in the total number of hours streamed by online broadcasters since January of this year. The week before (April 23-29), the index rose 2.4 percent. This is a representation of the trend in Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) across a spectrum of stations measured by MeasureCast.

The report is put out weekly by the Portland, Oregon-based company, which records the exact number of streams requested from an Internet broadcaster's streaming server.


ACTV, Inc. Awarded 3 Key Patents

ACTV, Inc., an interactive television firm, has been awarded three additional patents related to the personalization of digital video.

The patents cover systems and methodologies for using digital video signals to provide customized programming based on viewer profiles, viewer behavior data, or viewer interactions such that the switch between such video signals is imperceptible to the viewer on the display screen.

"We believe this technology will make an important contribution to the ultimate success of digital television," said William C. Samuels, ACTV chairman and chief executive officer. "By delivering a visually seamless viewing experience, our technology overcomes a significant challenge to the digital television transition and facilitates exciting new, revenue-generating applications such as targeted advertising, VOD and individualized television."

Today's digital television viewers typically experience a delay when selecting a new channel. This "acquisition time" is caused by video compression technologies that separate images into different sized frames to conserve transmission bandwidth and then reassemble the images when they are decompressed for viewing.

The patent grants also have specific implications for proprietary ACTV products. With the SpotOn targeted advertising product, for example, advertisers can target messages seamlessly to each addressable box and viewers are enabled to watch television commercials that match their individual needs. Neighbors watching the same program can see different commercials based on information stored in their set-top box, for example.


Recipio and IFILM/OTX Join Forces

Recipio and IFILM/Online Testing Exchange, (OTX) two technology and marketing-focused companies, are joining forces to combine their respective strengths, the firms said Wednesday.

Recipio will provide IFILM/OTX with its "Insight Sessions" technology, which allows corporations get feedback from customers online in real-time, so that IFILM/OTX clients may more effectively understand consumer's ideas and attitudes about movie trailers and advertisements. IFILM/OTX, for its part, will provide Recipio with secure video and imaging services to incorporate into its suite of products and services.

The combined effort, the two companies hope, will result in not only a sharing of resources but also more actionable consumer insight to clients.

"Working together," said Tom Kehler, chief executive officer of Recipio, "[we] will help the entertainment and consumer goods industries listen to the actual words of their consumers, quantify their most important ideas, and use this information to create more effective marketing programs."

Financial details of the deal haven't been disclosed.

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