Bits & Bytes for June 2, 2004

Disney Launches FamilyFunTV

Building upon the infrastructure that drives its ESPN Motion ad-supported video content, Walt Disney Internet Group has launched FamilyFunTV.

The new offering, aimed at parents, appears on FamilyFun.com, which is a companion to FamilyFun magazine, published by Disney Publishing Worldwide. FamilyFun has a circulation of 1.75 million, according to the company.

Like ESPN Motion, FamilyFunTV requires users to install an application, which downloads video content and ads in the background, then alerts them when there’s content available.

So far, FamilyFunTV provides tips on how to keep kids entertained — through crafts projects, cooking endeavors and gardening plans. No video advertising currently appears, but following the ESPN Motion model would eventually result in ads appearing prior to the video content’s start.


Weather.com Offers Golf Courses Pay-for-Placement Ads

The Weather Channel’s weather.com is rolling out a “Local Golf Marketplace,” a self-service pay-for-placement ad product developed in tandem with an enhanced interactive golf section.

Golfers enter a zip code or city name, and are returned a list of nearby courses along with a rating of how favorable local weather conditions are for golf. Marketers can pay to receive more prominent placement (but presumably not better weather forecasts) within the results. Advertisers will also be able to display their logos and link directly to their Web sites — including a link to book tee times, if the course’s site offers that option.

“As an extremely localized site, one of the things that weather.com does best is to deliver relevant listings of popular attractions in specific areas, along with constantly updated weather forecasts, to help people more effectively plan for their passions,” said Tom Flournoy, vice president of product management for weather.com. “It was a logical extension of our business to provide course owners with an opportunity that allows them to control the order in which these highly-engaged consumers view their information. As we continue to make changes and additions to other sections of our site, we will consider expanding this program and look forward to working with business owners across the country.”

Weather.com developed the product in conjunction with Amazing Media, which develops self-service systems for publishers.

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