RealNetworks Makes Streaming Ads a Reality

Streaming media pioneer RealNetworks Monday announced technology to allow online broadcasters to insert ads into audio and video streams.

The RealServer 7.0 Advertising Extension allows publishers to use their current ad serving system to put banner ads — and ads in more compelling formats — into media streams, letting them track impressions and click-throughs.

“Advertising with streaming media provides our customers a unique competitive edge,” said Martin Plaehn, senior vice president, media systems, RealNetworks (RNWK). “RealNetworks continues to lead the industry in defining how businesses can create and deliver business value via Internet broadcasting.”

The company’s streaming media network — Real Broadcast Network (RBN) — is using the new technology to serve traditional broadcasters and cable networks, which are looking for ways to bring in more revenues when they put audio and video streams online.

The product can replace the ads originally in the audio and video with messages specifically targeted toward an online audience. Companies trying out the service include ABC News, ABC Radio’s WJZW, AtomFilms, BroadcastMusic.com, CBS.com, ClipShow.com, Investor Broadcast, OnePlace.com, The Health Network, and USA Networks’ SciFi Channel.

Additionally, RBN has made a deal with DoubleClick, under which the ad solutions provider will provide full ad serving and tracking capabilities to online broadcasters offering streaming audio and video.

“RBN and DoubleClick (DCLK) are providing Internet content creators and broadcasters new services and revenue opportunities which combine advertising and sponsorship with new media programming on the Internet,” said Plaehn. “Advertising on the Web will rapidly take a new shape as broadcasters couple the impact of audio, video, and rich media with precise targeting and interactivity.”

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