IAR Bits and Bytes

NOP World Forms New Technology Practice

Research giant NOP World said it plans to create a new market research consultancy, which will focus on U.S-based technology companies.

The New York-based company, a division of publishing and research titan United Business Media PLC , said its RoperASW and NOP Research units would combine research staff to create RoperNOP Technology.

The new unit, based in New York, will also include research staff from CMP Media, UBM’s technology publishing arm, and will be headed by CMP veteran Richard March. It will also maintain presences and affiliated offices in London; Seattle; San Francisco; Dallas, Texas; and Princeton, N.J.

NOP World said the new group would use online research panels developed by CMP under March, who headed the division’s Reality Research group. The companies said RoperNOP Technology also will use consumer research conducted by RoperASW.

Although the unit launches with clients including IBM , Microsoft , and AOL Time Warner’s America Online, it’s first product is expected to be a study of trends affecting small and medium-sized tech businesses.

“Small and medium businesses account for two-thirds of technology buying in the United States,” March said. “Our data suggest that SMB will be instrumental in leading a tech sector recovery in the second half of this year.”

Amazing Media Signs Verticalnet

Automated ad sales ASP Amazing Media will provide do-it-yourself online ad buying for B2B marketplace Verticalnet .

Through the companies’ agreement, Verticalnet’s small-to-medium business (SMB) area will use Amazing Media’s AdVariant service, which enables advertisers — principally Verticalnet merchants — to design and launch a rich media online ad campaign. Ads created through the service will run across the B2B e-commerce area’s 59 vertical marketplaces.

“Verticalnet SMB’s 59 online vertical marketplaces, combined with AdVariant’s unique targeting capabilities, provide the perfect solution for all businesses seeking to expand their customer base by enabling them to specifically reach their target audience, thus maximizing the value of their marketing dollars,” states Tom Roberts, Vice President and General Manager for Verticalnet SMB. “AdVariant presents our audience with a great opportunity to increase their sales by effectively reaching specific customers within our large B2B buying audience, which averages more than 1.6 million unique visitors per month.”

The news marks the latest client win for Fairfax, Va.-based Amazing Media’s AdVariant, which is in use at sites including eBay , The Excite Network/iWon.com, and weather.com.

Universal Links DVDs to Site

Vivendi Universal’s Universal Studios Home Video plans to add Internet features to its new DVD releases, beginning with the Robert Redford and Brad Pitt film “Spy Game,” due out in April.

The enhancements, dubbed Total Axess, will enable PC users to use the DVD to access bonus material online, such as exclusive streaming-video footage and downloads.

The DVD will link to a site that also contain information on current Universal Studios home video and theatrical releases, as well as previews and trailers of upcoming home entertainment and theatrical titles. As a result, Universal Studios Home Video will be able to continually update which new releases it advertises to DVD buyers; previously, of course, DVD owners could be exposed only to a finite group of trailers, which had been preloaded onto the disc.

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