Backchannelmedia introduces free a media planning tool

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Media planning is about to get a whole lot easier with the launch of DRTVResearch, a free media planning tool from Backchannelmedia, headquartered in Boston.

"We believe that there's a greater need for advanced systems to build a bridge between the $70 billion general TV advertising market and the $4 billion DRTV advertising market," said Dan Hassan, who shares co-CEO responsibilities with company founder Michael Kokernak. "Backchannelmedia has been a technology company since its inception, and with DRTV Research, we've created a cutting edge tool that will be adopted by a lot of people in the industry. We've had an overwhelming response from the media planners who have seen it."

DRTV Research culls data from various sources and presents it in a unique, intuitively accessed way - so unique, in fact, that Backchannel has just applied for a patent. It integrates licensed listing information from Backchannel partner, Tribune Media Services, including data on every network, program syndication, cable programmer and satellite system in North America. This is combined with estimated subscriber counts from the FCC and consumer data licensed from partner company Acxiom, a leading source of U.S. consumer demographic information. The information is refreshed daily, with about 2.5 million rows of data stored and optimized every night. The result - a comprehensive web portal with more than 800,000 searchable pages of timely information, presented with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface.

Just a few of the impressive list of functions that DRTV Research provides include the ability to search within DMA's by demographic data such as income, zip code, age, high-speed internet access and retail spending patterns and within Media Platforms for things like channel position, genre, program name, actor, etc. So an advertiser who has a specific actor as pitchman - Jerry Seinfeld for instance - can search by actor, program and DMA so that they can run their spots during episodes of Seinfeld.

With more and more brand advertisers attracted by the effectiveness and accountability of Direct Response TV, Backchannelmedia is gearing up to meet the need for strong analytics in an increasingly fragmented market. In addition to last Wednesday's launch of DRTVResearch, the company has completely revamped its website and recently hired additional sales and marketing muscle in the form of Chief Marketing Officer Steve Edelstein and Executive VP of Sales Steve Freidman. More product launches are planned for the next six months, including S.T.A.R.S Digital, a more richly featured version of the company's web-based, real-time DR sales tracking program, which allows users to measure the effectiveness of direct response campaigns by correlating direct response sales data from call centers to specific media expenditures, and improvements to DRTV Connected.

"DRTVResearch levels the playing field from a data knowledge standpoint," said Mr. Hassan. "It gives small companies access to comprehensive media planning data. Our programming team has done an amazing job to create this research tool, which is a huge step forward for the TV industry."

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