Pets Get Own Channel on PurinaTV

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Ralston Purina and Yahoo Broadcast recently debuted Purina TV, a site providing pet care education in streaming video, audio and text.


Available at www.purina.com/dogs, or http://pets.yahoo.com/pets, the site aims to "create a video knowledge base on the Internet," according to Ralston Purina. The site provides information on pet research, nutrition, training and health, along with demonstrations by pet care experts.


In addition to education, the site will showcase videos from Purina events, such as Purina Dog Chow's Incredible Dog Challenge and the Beggin' Strips Stupid Dog Tricks contest.


A Purina spokesman said it is too early to say how the site will be marketed to customers.


The site is presented in a triple-window format, so users can view a streamed video segment while reading text on the subject or browsing related links.


Yahoo, in turn, will provide Purina's Daily Tips on cat and dog care on its My Yahoo personalized home pages.


Ralston Purina is one of the early adopters of Yahoo Broadcast's new Marketing Webcast Solutions package for marketers. The package combines streaming applications, consulting and production, along with optional promotional and distribution services.


Jim Lewandowski, vice president of sales, Yahoo business and services enterprises, said the package "will also leverage the breadth and depth of Yahoo's 192 million monthly users to increase the reach and impact our customers' marketing campaigns will have."


Although Yahoo Broadcast has served many Webcasts for business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients, it is now promoting the service to marketers as another way to launch products, deliver marketing seminars, demonstrate products and build brand awareness.


"Our customers are demanding more solutions. It doesn't really cost a lot to produce a Webcast, and it can be used multiple times," Lewandowski said. The cost for a Yahoo Webcast and corresponding consulting, data tracking and promotional materials ranges from $250,000 to millions of dollars.


Lewandowski said Yahoo Broadcast is helping marketers develop "compelling rich media that customers will want to watch for more than 30 seconds."


In addition, Jupiter Media Metrix expects marketing-related Webcasting to grow to more than $1 billion by 2003.


For example, Cisco Systems, San Jose, CA, working with Yahoo Broadcast, has replaced many of its traditional seminars with Webcasts, cutting seminar costs by 80 percent in 2000.


In addition to live seminars, Cisco's Webcasts have included product launches, time-sensitive productions and technical presentations.


In addition, customer satisfaction ratings from the online events exceed Cisco's traditional customer seminars.


"The Web seminars have provided our customers with a dynamic venue where they can interact with our company and view the seminars at their convenience," said Nancy Neipp, senior manager of marketing seminars at Cisco Systems.


"Plus, many topics we archive attract up to 10,000 additional participants over a few months," she added.


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