ConsumerFirst Turns Screensavers Into Ads

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The screensaver has remained one of the final unconquered territories as companies struggle to find new real estate to place ads on consumer's computer monitors, but that could all change next month when ConsumerFirst.com introduces its rich-media AdSavers product.


ConsumerFirst.com will allow users to download AdSavers - a platform that pays consumers to watch screensaver ads ranging in duration from 5 seconds to 30 seconds. Consumers will be able to select from a number of ad categories that fit their interests and can view a rotation of 10 to 100 ads depending on their access availability.


The consumer receives points for every ad viewed that can be redeemed for cash or prizes or donated to the charity of their choice. Viewers must click on an ad before the next ad in the rotation will run. The value of the points will be adjusted according to how much revenue the company earns. Partnerships with one of the existing online currency providers - such as MyPoints, Netcentives and Beenz - may be on the horizon.


The company began collecting the e-mail addresses of interested consumers Nov. 1 and expects to have as many as a 1,000 members when the product launches.


ConsumerFirst.com is entering a competitive field with one leader, AllAdvantage.com, already providing a similar service to more than 3 million members. AllAdvantage.com pays users to install a one-inch Viewbar on the bottom of their screens while they are online. It rotates banner ads in accordance with the sites the user is surfing, the keywords they are using and demographic information. Consumers earn 50 cents per hour that the bar is on the screen plus additional money if they refer the program to a friend.


The advantage for AdSavers, said Matt Hardison, CEO of ConsumerFirst.com, Washington, is that consumers can view full-screen, interactive ads on their own time in a non-obtrusive manner.


AdSavers' rich-media ads also will offer the opportunity to gather information or present product offerings and sweepstakes without taking the consumer to the advertiser's site, although ads are expected to allow for click-throughs. The rich-media content is being developed by KMGI.com, New York.


Consumers can chose to manually download new batches of ads or allow the back-end software to automatically serve up new ads once an initial batch has been shown three to four times. Advertisements can also be saved in folders or sent to friends via e-mail.


Clients such as Macromedia, Southcoast Micro and ifn2000 are running sample ads on the site, although at press time no clients had officially signed on to use the service.
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