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Join Our Research Team at DMA 2014
Mar 09, 2004
How To

MarketingSherpa's Quick Buyer's Guide to the Top 10 Rich Media Providers

SUMMARY: Rich media ads are cool, exciting, creative, and can be incredibly powerful. But, the field's grown so rapidly that it's confusing to sort through all the different vendors. So, we've done it for you. Our Quick Buyer's Guide features compare-and-contrast details on:


Bluestreak
Eyewonder
DoubleClick
Pointroll
Unicast
Commflash
Eyeblaster
Klipmart
United Virtualities
Viewpoint



Hope this makes your job (or your agency's job) a bit easier:
by Contributing Editor Seana Mulcahy

Rich media -- such as Flash, DHTML, streamed video, audio, rollovers, and/or expands -- is one of the fastest growing formats online, because it's sexy, it's fun, and it also tends to get much higher response rates than old fashioned banners. Agencies love rich media because they can be more creative. Clients love rich media because it reminds them of TV.

(Rich media can be a royal pain for online publishers and media buyers, but that's another story.)

We were planning to bring you a special report on rich media metrics, creative, media buying, and best practices this month.
Our first step was to get the lay of the land, checking out what the top providers have to offer.

It was harder that we expected. There wasn't a quick buyer's guide to rich media providers easily available anywhere.

So, we created one. Here are the top 10 rich media providers listed in alphabetical order. The answers were provided to us by the firms themselves (although we edited out some of the sales pitching.) Hope it's helpful:

Bluestreak http://www.bluestreak.com
Contact:
Jon Wade, Sales Director, 401-855-0124, jwade@bluestreak.com
Brief Description:
Bluestreak offers rich media as well as platforms and services to deliver any form of online marketing such as email (IonMail), 3rd party ad serving (IonAd) and marketing programs including ads that allow for transactions such as downloading and ecommerce. The core ad serving technology was built initially to handle all forms of rich and dynamic media within advertisements. Today, Flash is the primary tool for building rich ads; IonAd delivers any format of rich ad including expanding flash, layered ads, or video ads. Bluestreak tracks an unlimited number of rich media actions including interaction time or any user-defined actions.
Price:
Negotiable and differs client to client. It is part of an overall ad serving fee.
Turnaround Time:
Bluestreak does not handle Rich Media development - although they have many partners who they can recommend to you if you need creative developed.
Launch upon Entry to page:
Yes if a client chooses.
Launched into main session/Pop window:
Yes, if a client chooses.
Affected by Pop zapping programs:
Yes, some formats affected.
Pre-cached:
Yes.
Obstruct content:
Depending on the format the client chooses.
Need to be customized for different sites:
Play ratios:
N/A.
File Size:
Typically 100K but can be negotiated.
Time:
1 day and up depending on creative unit.
Video:
Yes, for several years.
Approx % of users that can view ads:
Depends on the product. Some are as high as 98%.

Commflash (Owned by FPBA Group) http://www.fpba.net
Contact:
Byron Biggins, VP of Sales and Marketing bbiggins@fpba.net
Brief Description:
FPBA Group has developed and is licensing the rights to its proprietary and patent-pending non-zapable COMMFLASH Technology. FPBA’s mission is to provide a standard-setting advertising format that meets the traditional brand-building needs of advertisers in an environment that ensures the continual seamless and uninterrupted browsing activities of the end user. FPBA develops enabling technologies that are easy to use, do not require software downloads and make it possible to deliver uninterruptible and unforgettable messages.
Price:
$1.75 CPM for most. Video ad pricing varies.
Turnaround Time:
Less than a day in most cases.
Launch upon Entry to page:
Yes.
Launched into main session/Pop window:
Yes.
Affected by Pop zapping programs:
No.
Pre-cached:
Yes.
Obstruct content:
No.
Need to be customized for different sites:
No.
Play ratios:
1:1
File Size:
No limit.
Time:
1 day.
Video:
Yes.
Approx % of users that can view ads:
95%

DoubleClick Inc. http://www.doubleclick.net
Contact: sales@doubleclick.net
Brief Description:
DART Motif is the only fully integrated solution for all aspects of creating and managing rich media advertising. Motif is brought to you through an exclusive alliance between industry leaders DoubleClick and Macromedia. For users of DoubleClick's DART ad management products, it offers the convenience of one unified system that automates the complete rich media workflow.
Price:
DART Motif is priced on a CPM basis. Rates vary based on volume and financial commitment.
Turnaround Time:
DART Motif is self-service, eliminating the need to rely on a 3rd party to create rich media ads.
Launch upon Entry to page:
Flexible; allows the creation of multiple ad formats. It is possible to create an ad that launches on-top of the page as soon as the page loads.
Launched into main session/Pop window:
Pop-ups and/or pop-unders can be created any size in both a main session or pop window.
Affected by Pop zapping programs:
N/A
Pre-cached:
No; leverage Flash.
Obstruct content:
DART Motif is highly flexible in terms of the position control given to advertisers and publishers.
Need to be customized for different sites:
Allows creative designers to convert almost anything they can create in Macromedia Flash into an ad.
Play ratios:
Not applicable.
File Size:
Supports up to 500K files.
Time:
Flexible with no restrictions.
Video:
No.
Approx % of users that can view ads:
Over 98% of users that have a Flash plug-in installed.

Eyeblaster http://www.eyeblaster.com
Contact:
Steven Goldberg, Director Business Development, 212-686-9210
Brief Description:
The Eyeblaster Rich Media Platform provides online advertisers and publishers with a single technology solution to create, deliver, manage and track all rich media through a common administrative platform. The Eyeblaster Brand Test, powered by Dynamic Logic, allows marketers to measure essential brand metrics in order to assess a campaign’s effectiveness, including brand awareness, brand favorability and purchase intent. Eyeblaster’s suite of reporting tools offers the most complete tracking in the industry, with reports viewable on the campaign-, flight- and ad-level.
Price:
CPM based pricing model, ranging from $1-$5 CPM, based on ad format.
Turnaround Time:
The Eyeblaster platform enables all parties involved in the rich media process – media buyers, web publishers, and creative agencies – to work concurrently within the system and can share files, approve or reject creative, make changes to the media plan, and update creative assets. So, Eyeblaster does not “build the ads” for the clients, although we have a creative services department that helps clients on request.
Launch upon Entry to page:
Yes; ad formats can launch when a user arrives at a page. Most ad formats are served when the page loads before serving the ad.
Launched into main session/Pop window:
Yes; they have in-banner, out-of-banner (floating) formats, as well as “window” ads, which launch a separate browser window.
Affected by Pop zapping programs:
Only formats that launch a new, independent browser window are affected by pop-up blockers.
Pre-cached:
Ads are stored in the computer’s cache; not all of ad formats are pre-cached before playing them. 1MB ads are streamed.
Obstruct content:
Some do depending on the format and creative.
Play ratios:
2:1 – 3:1 depending on ad unit, etc.
File Size:
Up to 1 MB
Time:
Flexible; they work with all specs.
Video:
We can incorporate video into any of our ad formats, and have a Commercial Break, which could be compared, in execution, to the superstitials.
Approx % of users that can view ads:
Between 90-95%. It depends on the version of Flash that the user has installed. The majority of our ads can be viewed on Flash 5 and up. Eyeblaster ads cannot be viewed on MACs.

Eyewonder http://www.eyewonder.com
Contact: Mike Griffin, EVP Sales & Marketing mqgriffin@eyewonder.com
Brief Description:
EyeWonder’s “create once, play everywhere” streaming audio and video solutions instantly deliver audio and video content across narrowband, broadband and wireless networks, with no need for any media player download, upgrade or plug-in.
Price:
$3 CPM - No extra cost over other rich media to upgrade to EyeWonder video ads on AOL and Yahoo!
Turnaround Time:
3 days.
Launch upon Entry to page:
Yes; video expandable ads and video pop out ads can be; video interstitials launch in-between pages.
Launched into main session/Pop window: All products launch in main page except for video pop ads and video interstitials.
Affected by Pop zapping programs: No.
Pre-cached:
No.
Obstruct content:
Some products do.
Need to be customized for different sites:
No; if desired by customer.
Play ratios:
1:1.
File Size:
All 100 except for video interstitial which is 1 MB.
Time:
Varies by product; from 5 – 30 seconds.
Video:
Yes.
Approx % of users that can view ads:
97%.



Klipmart http://www.klipmart.com
Contact:
Charles Ruderman, VP Marketing & Sales, cruderman@klipmart.com
Brief Description:
Klipmart Corporation provides solutions for the integration and distribution of promotional audio and video content on the Internet using advertising, e-mail and intranet platforms.
Price:
N/A
Turnaround Time:
3-5 business days dependent upon receipt of all creative assets
Launch upon Entry to page:
Yes. KlipAds are web-based in page units the technology loads as the ad unit itself loads.
Launched into main session/Pop window:
Preferably into page based units; has the capability of serving via a pop window
Affected by Pop zapping programs:
No; served as in-page units.
Pre-cached:
Can be.
Obstruct content:
No; ads play within existing ad units.
Need to be customized for different sites:
Yes; each ad unit is custom.
Play ratios:
1:1.
File Size:
Dependent upon campaign but typically a light initial load followed by the video stream. Can implement: Tabbed Units
In-page Flip Units
Multi-Video Units
Disappearing Mute Units
Dual Video/Flash Units
Interactive Box Units
Data/Email Capture Units
Screensaver/Picture Downloads
Newsletter Sign-ups
Text Messaging features
Zip Code locators
Time:
Most initiatives are :10, :15 or :30 spots; additional time can be negotiated.
Video:
Yes.
Approx % of users that can view ads:
N/A.



Pointroll http://www.pointroll.com
Contact:
Andy Ellenthal, SVP, Global Sales aellenthal@pointroll.com, or James O’Brien, Director of Marketing jobrien@pointroll.com
Brief Description:
PointRoll's proprietary technology platform delivers a suite of rich media page based products, including: FatBoy user-initiated expanding banners, TowelBoy™ snap-back units, and BadBoy™ floating ads, as well as custom services.

PointRoll puts the user first – enabling advertisers, agencies and publishers to measurably increase conversion opportunity, brand awareness & protection, creative expression, and message content – without disrupting the user’s online experience.
Price:
PointRoll’s standard rate card starts at $5 CPM which can be discounted based on volume and commitment for qualified publishers, agencies, and advertisers. FatBoys are included at ‘no additional charge’ on Yahoo! and AOL but subject to eligibility.
Turnaround Time:
N/A
Launch upon Entry to page:
FatBoy is User-Initiated, TowelBoy is pre-expanded upon page entry, BadBoy floats upon page entry.
Launched into main session/Pop window:
Page-based only PointRoll NEVER pops a new window
Affected by Pop zapping programs:
No
Pre-cached:
In most cases, no.
Obstruct content:
Yes, focused on user-initiation
Need to be customized for different sites:
No, but we do allow
Play ratios:
Undetermined as it is page-based
File Size:
Not a single file, initial download is light but varies according to ad type.
Time:
2 to 3 days
Video:
Video is supported within all of our products
Approx % of users that can view ads:
Approx 83%

Unicast http://www.unicast.com
Contact:
Jason Griswold; jgriswold@unicast.com
Brief Description:
Unicast’s format suite includes the newly released Video Commercial, a 2MB ad that provides advertisers broadcast-quality video, playing up to 8 times faster than broadband/streaming video. The backbone of all Unicast’s premium formats, including the Superstitial, is its patented pre-caching technology that ensures all ads offer maximum file size for creativity and play perfectly for every consumer all of the time.
Price:
Price varies by format; however all of Unicast’s costs are billed directly to Web sites.
Turnaround Time:
1-3 days maximum.
Launch upon Entry to page:
If desired.
Launched into main session/Pop window:
If desired.
Affected by Pop zapping programs:
Proprietary.
Pre-cached:
Yes, fully. Part of Unicast’s patented backend technology.
Obstruct content:
No.
Need to be customized for different sites:
No.
Play ratios:
1.4 – to – 1
File Size:
Video Commercial: 2MB; standard and Full Screen
Superstitial:
600k
Time:
Up to 15 or up to 30 seconds
Video:
Yes, pure video AND Flash video
Approx % of users that can view ads:
85%+

United Virtualities http://www.unitedvirtualities.com
Contact:
Ivan Entel, Chief of Staff, EVP of Business Development ivan@unitedvirtualites.com
Brief Description:
After redefining on-line advertising with the invention of the floating ad, UV continues on its path of sustained innovation, providing technology and services to top tier agencies and publishers. The current product line-up includes:
Shoshkele - The original floating ad.
Ooqa Ooqa - The branded, contextual browser.
Yachne - The avatar based communications tool.
Shvitzer - Relevant services and e-commerce activated by intelligent
highlighting.
Poonkt - Contextual search tool.
Price:
Shoshkeles: $5 cpm
Ooqa Ooqa: $12 cpm
Yachne: Project based
Shvitzer: Revenue sharing program
Poonkt: Project based
Turnaround Time:
Depending on complexity of project, can be same day.
Launch upon Entry to page:
Optional, up to the client and the site.
Launched into main session/Pop window:
Main session by default; pop ups can be incorporated.
Affected by Pop zapping programs:
No.
Pre-cached:
Optional, up to the client and the site.
Obstruct content:
Optional, up to the client and the site.
Need to be customized for different sites:
Yes.
Play ratios:
Depends on execution, average is 2 to 1.
File Size:
Depends on the product, the client and the site.
Time:
Depends on the product, the client and the site.
Video:
Yes.
Approx % of users that can view ads:
95%.


Viewpoint http://www.viewpoint.com
Contact:
Tech contact: Chris Johnston, cjohnston@viewpoint.com
Marketing: Lisa Kemmerer, lkemmerer@viewpoint.com
Exec lead: Bob Rice, brice@viewpoint.com
Brief Description:
Creative Innovator is the only ad deployment solution that integrates content creation, delivery, and reporting for all standard ad units (floating, expandable, banner, etc.), technologies (Flash, Video, DHTML, Viewpoint, etc.), publishers (including all AOL pages), and operating systems. AirTimeTM video ads guarantee ultra-high quality in-page play, without buffering, on any single page view.
Price:
Any Rich format: $2.50/cpm
Video, up to 2MB: $7/cpm
Standard, up to 100kb: $.35/cpm
Turnaround Time:
In some cases, less than 1 hour to one day.
Launch upon Entry to page:
CI handles all in page, overlay and popover/under units.
Launched into main session/Pop window:
Either; a creative/publisher decision.
Affected by Pop zapping programs:
No.
Pre-cached:
Viewpoint uses a proprietary, private cache that is more powerful than a browser cache. For example, AirTimeTM ads are accessible across publisher placements for the ultimate user experience.
Obstruct content:
Depends on the format. Viewpoint is the only rich media company that can deliver top-layer ads on AOL ”Rainman” pages.
Need to be customized for different sites:
No.
Play ratios:
One page view guarantees infinite plays. CI preloads and streams, so there’s no need for multiple page views before an ad plays; and because ads are then held in the proprietary cache, they aren’t downloaded again.
File Size:
Any standard format, or can be customized. Viewpoint recommends the IAB Standard Phase I Rich Media Guidelines for file size by format.
Time:
Any standard format, or can be customized. Viewpoint recommends animation time of 15 seconds or less, and video/audio of 30 seconds or less, with user controls.
Video:
AirTime provides full polite precaching of multiple units, dynamic stream switching that guarantees optimum playback, and full integration with all other media types.
Approx % of users that can view ads:
97%, through a combination of Viewpoint (about 65%) and Flash (nearly ubiquitous): Creative Innovator always serves the appropriate ad version for the user in question. No Java or OS dependencies.

Useful links related to this story

IAB's rich media guidelines (revised Feb 2004)
http://www.iab.net/standards/richmedia.asp


SPECIAL: Using Talking Heads in Your Online Ads - Test Results, Creative Tips & Useful Links
http://library.marketingsherpa.com/barrier.cfm?CID=2588


Adding Audio to Email Campaigns: Inspiration from 4 Marketers, 5 Tips, and 5 Vendors
http://library.marketingsherpa.com/barrier.cfm?CID=2514

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