Start-up MediaInternet.com launched on Thursday, joining the ranks of those hoping to capitalize on the online media buying business.
The new online entity promises to offer services to advertising agencies that should streamline the information gathering and planning programs of media buyers.
“We had a team of rocket scientists who were underpaid by the government,” said Charlie Deane, chief executive officer and founder of MediaInternet.com, explaining that some of his staff are veterans of the Falklands War. “They came to work for us.”
With a design team as adroit as rocket scientists, Deane seems confident that the $2 million he raised from friends and family in Argentina should build out an airtight system. Services will range from offering agencies an online source that supplies them with up-to-the-minute advertising space costs to a database of publisher specifications.
Unlike offline media outlets that service advertising agencies, MediaInternet.com offers users a database of over 40,000 media outlets that contain database support such as contacts and bulk discounts. As part of the service, MediaInternet.com intends to provide a chat area where advertisers can negotiate costs and contacts with media.
“This will eliminate the inefficiency of paper based communication,” said Deane. “We provide a database that lets an agency plan the media in which they will connect directly over the Web instead of by fax and email.”
Deane said his company plans to charge a monthly fee for the service to advertising agencies as well as a fee to media entities selling space through his company.
But MediaInternet.com enters a crowded field. Silicon Alley competitor AdOutlet.com just raised a $25 million investment round led by the Sprout Group, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette’s venture capital arm. A group of advertising veterans, with backing from McCann-Erickson Worldgroup, recently announced plans to form a new advertising exchange, Media Market Makers. In February AdFlight.com rounded up $8.25 million in new financing for its online advertising site. Meanwhile, Media Post recently launched immediabuy.com. And AdAuction.com is beefing up its staff in an effort to expand its offerings beyond remnant ad space in online and outdoor media.
All those companies sell ad space through an online exchange. MediaInternet hopes to do more by offering a vast searchable database of information about rates and demographics for TV and cable, radio, newspaper, magazine, outdoor, and Internet advertising.
“Our vision is to be the fastest media planning and buying company that allows small, medium and large advertising agencies to be more efficient in speed-to-market, price and service,” said Deane. “By establishing an infrastructure based entirely on the Internet and forming strategic alliances with buying companies to provide bulk rates through our system, we will enable agencies to plan and have rates and commissions calculated in an instant, saving time, effort and labor costs.”
Deane’s confidence stems from his own experience working for Ogilvy & Mather and owning his own advertising agency, Charlie Deane & Co. S.A., that was based in Buenos Aires. Deane said the most important outgrowth of his online venture is his company’s ability to extend the reach of advertising agencies without increasing overhead costs.
Currently the company has 60 agencies signed up to beta test the site. Another service the company provides is automatic ordering between agencies and media outlets, a service that the company said will eliminate the need for spreadsheets and reference books. During the beta test period, users can access data by performing temporarily free informational searches. The company plans to offer free transactions for three months.
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