InterVU Forms New Ad Partnerships, Will Focus on Its Network

InterVU Inc. said it formed new partnerships with AdForce and AdKnowledge, and expanded its relationship with Unicast Communications Corp. as the company focuses less on ad sales and more on rich media delivery.

An InterVU spokesman said the company will no longer attempt to sell rich media online advertising solutions directly to advertisers and agencies, but will instead partner with and support the advertising services companies.

InterVU said it “will focus its energy on being the premier management and delivery solutions provider by strengthening and developing its network.” Financial arrangements with the various partners were not disclosed.

The strategic announcements InterVU is making relative to the online advertising industry “signal a focusing of InterVU’s resources to supporting the industry as a whole, and an overall dedication to providing the network delivery infrastructure that will enable seamless and effective video and rich media online advertising solutions,” said Ed Huguez, InterVU COO.

The alliance with AdForce, a provider of centralized online ad management services, will provide a turnkey rich media online advertising solution for Web sites, advertisers and agencies, the companies said.

The joint offering solution will enable clients to develop, place, manage and serve online advertising incorporating rich media elements including audio, video, VRML, Java applets, Shockwave, Flash and interstitials. The solution will also provide end-user interaction reporting, and will leverage InterVU’s rich media integration program to assist Web sites with the technical details, the companies said.

“By working with InterVU and leveraging the powerful rich media management and delivery capabilities of InterVU’s network, AdForce is able to expand its ability to serve the full spectrum of rich media formats in online ad campaigns,” said Michael Tanne, AdForce vice president of U.S. business development.

Separately, InterVU said it will partner with AdKnowledge, another provider of end-to- end Web advertising management products, to give AdKnowledge customers a complete solution for managing and distributing all types of rich media ads.

As part of the agreement, AdKnowledge and InterVU will jointly develop a software solution that enables the AdKnowledge System to interoperate with InterVU’s network. AdKnowledge customers will be able to use the AdKnowledge System to plan, buy, manage and track rich media campaigns managed and delivered by InterVU. End users will be able to view a variety of streaming rich media formats via InterVU’s network, regardless of the specific hardware or software they might have.

The joint AdKnowledge/InterVU solution is expected to be available by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, InterVU and Unicast said they’re expanding their ongoing relationship and will collaborate to deliver a variety of video ad formats.

As part of the arrangement, three InterVU sales and marketing executives, responsible for its advertising services, will join a new Unicast office opening in San Francisco in November.

Under the new agreement, Unicast will sell InterVU and joint InterVU/Unicast video-advertising services, including video interstitials, to advertisers and ad agencies. The companies also plan to collaboratively develop enhanced video offerings.

The InterVU executives joining Unicast’s new San Francisco office are:

  • John de Tar, vice president, national accounts. He had been InterVU’s vice president of advertising sales.
  • Allie Shaw, director of marketing. Shaw had been InterVU’s director of marketing.
  • Joseph Savarino, director western region sales. He had been InterVU’s western region sales manager.

With the departures, InterVU named a new vice president of marketing, Stephen Condon, who joins the company from DirecTV and has extensive experience in the advertising industry.

“Unicast and InterVU are both committed to rich media advertising and together we hope to facilitate the growth and adoption rate of this powerful advertising vehicle on the Internet,” said Huguez.

Unicast Communications, based in Manhattan, creates advertising technologies for the Web and supports them with related services. Investors include Intel, GTE Internetworking, D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Kenneth Fadner, the former president of AdWeek, and other private investors.

InterVU’s proprietary network infrastructure uses distributed servers, called Delivery Centers, strategically located across nine Internet backbones to optimize rich media file availability for Web sites. The Delivery Centers determine which of its multiple, globally dispersed servers is electronically closest to the end-user in order to deliver the rich media from that location, thus avoiding data bottlenecks and ensuring smooth delivery.

InterVU’s turnkey video and Rich Media services include automation of the video publishing process, management and distribution of live broadcasts and video-on-demand, Rich Media advertising including the V-Banner (video advertising banner), and end-user multimedia software.

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