Real Media Expands Rich Media Capabilities

New York-based ad network Real Media beefed up its rich media capabilities, inking deals with several technology providers.

Now, ads from Eyewonder, Bluestreak, Enliven, PointRoll, and ClicVu can be served through Real Media’s Open AdStream technology or on its iCover network.

Eyewonder’s chief product, EYERIS, enables advertisers to add streaming video and audio to their Java-based ads, while Bluestreak’s rich media banner ads are often used to incorporate in-banner games (like a shooting gallery spoof for AT&T Long Distance).

Enliven, one of the first firms to offer a rich media ad product, will also be one of Real Media’s partners.

PointRoll specializes in adding drop-down menus, forms, and other functionality to ads — allowing consumers to opt into newsletters or browse product information without leaving a publisher’s site.

Similarly, ClicVu ads can be saved for later viewing at www.clickvu.com. The idea is that consumers can save an ad for more information later, instead of clicking and being taken away from the Web site they had been browsing.

The additions bring Real Media up to the level of several of its larger competitors. For instance, DoubleClick and Engage can both serve and track Eyewonder ads, one of the newest formats.

“Rich media ads are proving to have higher click-through rates for most advertisers,” said Larry Allen, vice president of media services for the firm. “But the lack of standardization makes it hard for advertisers to determine if the additional cost of the ads is justified. We are going to great lengths to test all rich media formats as we integrate them with Open AdStream.”

Already the firm has enlisted several takers. PowerAdz and Investors.com have run ads through Real Media utilizing Eyewonder’s streaming technology, while home furnishings retailer IKEA recently launched a campaign using PointRoll’s technology.

In other Real Media news, the firm this week formally withdrew its IPO. The move had been expected since December, when new management stepped in.

The management shakeup saw the departure of the firm’s president and chief executive, Chris Neimeth, and the installment of Walter Annasohn. Annasohn came to Real Media from PubliGroup, a Swiss print advertising rep firm that provided much of Real Media’s initial and subsequent funding, and which controlled several seats on the company’s board of directors.

The company, which filed a year ago to go public with the aim of raising $71 million, had recorded mounting expenditures despite increasing revenue, and Annasohn said one of the restructured company’s first acts would be to pull its public offering.

In September 2000, the company landed $30 million in financing from PubliGroup and another investor, Advance Internet, but to date has not yet given indications of how the industry-wide downturn in revenues have impacted the company’s bottom line.

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