ALC Set to Unveil Full-Motion Technology

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ALC Interactive, the online arm of American List Counsel Inc., plans to unveil technology that will allow online marketers to use full-motion video in advertising without requiring people to download special software to view it.


According to ALC, Princeton, NJ, the technology -- tentatively called EyeStoppers -- turns full-motion video into video that can be inserted into any Web page and viewed with any browser. It will debut the technology June 1-4 at the 15th Annual Catalog Conference & Exhibition in Boston.


ALC said that in recent tests, banner advertising with EyeStoppers video footage pulled click-throughs (the rate at which people click on an ad) of 2.77 percent compared with a 1.45 percent click-through rate for banners without EyeStoppers.


A demonstration of a 5-second EyeStoppers video is available at http://www.smartbiz.com/eyestoppers/ . According to Irv Brechner, director of technology at ALC Interactive, the sample footage is an 158 kilobyte (reasonably small) file that takes 30 seconds to load on a 28.8 bps modem.


Brechner said EyeStoppers file sizes will vary depending upon length and color of the video from 100 kilobytes to 175 kilobytes.


"Our service bureau has committed to working on algorithms that will compress the files even further," Brechner said.


ALC developed the proprietary technology with an unnamed partner. The firm will convert existing video footage for clients, shoot and convert video footage or supply stock footage. ALC is charging a one-time fee with no limitations on use for the EyeStoppers service.


Among the applications ALC plans for EyeStoppers is supplying video footage for catalogers' e-commerce sites and for banner advertising. Brechner said he also sees opportunities for the travel industry and for nonprofit firms.


"If your charity is 'Save the Whales,' you can add footage of whales to your site," he said.


Seema Williams, an analyst with Forrester Research, Cambridge, MA, called EyeStoppers definitely impressive as a technological advancement. To date, products such as RealVideo have required people to download extra software to view moving pictures on the Web. Williams estimated that from 30 percent to 50 percent of people will turn away from a Web page that requires this.


"No-plug-in is a big step forward, and this is great video considering the circumstances," Williams said referring to the generally low quality of moving images sent over the Internet.

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