Realnetworks has launched a service that analysts fear will turn consumers off its Web streaming technology.
The online video and audio specialist has developed a service that enables advertisers to play their advertisements to a targeted audience as they watch a webcast presentation. The service, which was unveiled during this week's Realnetworks Conference 99 in San Francisco, will enable ads to be interspersed within the presentation rather like in today's commercial television programmes.
Called G2 Advertising Application, it links Realserver G2, Realnetwork's broadcast server, with advertising software products from specialists Netgravity and Engage, along with ad management services from Doubleclick and Matchlogic, to deliver media and traditional banner ads within Realserver presentations.
Analysts do not believe users will tolerate this invasion to their viewing and will simply delete the ads. According a bulletin on the announcement by analysts Zona Research, "To date, we have seen Realnetworks make some savvy moves, demonstrating its ability to be an innovator providing real value to consumers in the face of serious competition. This may not be one of them, as the value appears to be reaped entirely by advertisers."
Realnetworks founder and chief executive, Rob Glaser, argued that because the service would enable advertisers to target their audience, it may actually be useful to consumers, just as people buy niche publications, such as PC or wedding magazines, for the ads as well as editorial.
The service will enable advertisers to measure both placement and duration of the ad. The ads can appear at the beginning of the show, alongside the main content, or between segments. It supports traditional banners, audio enhanced banners, animation, audio and full motion video.
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