Hollywood Previews, Media Horizons Go Multimedia With Newspaper Inserts

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A new kind of multimedia insert has entered the newspaper market, and direct marketers can get in on the action thanks to the Hollywood Previews Entertainment iMagazine program available starting this month through Media Horizons.

Hollywood Previews Entertainment iMagazine is a print piece that also contains an interactive CD-ROM. Digital media publisher iMedia International Inc. created it as a co-branded marketing vehicle featuring new movie trailers, music, video games, TV shows and sports as well as local marketing messages.

The program will be distributed through selected U.S. newspapers on the last Sunday of each month. But the relationship with the newspapers goes deeper, said John Brda, director of new business development at iMedia International, Santa Monica, CA.

"We're not just another newspaper insert," Mr. Brda said. "We partner with the newspapers and sign exclusive agreements in each market to help build trust with the readers. Each Hollywood Previews piece is also branded with the newspaper's name."

Though other companies offer interactive CD-ROMs, he is unaware of any competitors in the market partnering with the newspapers, he said.

Hollywood Previews' first foray into newspapers was in the April 30 edition of the Dallas Morning News, when 640,000 pieces reached consumers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

IMedia also can track how many CD-ROMs are viewed. As of May 4, nearly 200,000 discs from the Morning News effort had been viewed, with the average viewing time at 19 minutes and nearly 8,000 click-throughs to advertisers' Web sites.

A Media Horizons executive is excited about the potential of pushing inserts further into the multichannel realm.

"It makes a few different worlds collide by incorporating different media," said Walter Chistoni, vice president of the Media Horizons Management division of Media Horizons Inc., Norwalk, CT. "Space is sold on the disc and in the folder, and while consumers don't need to be online to view the CD-ROM, if they are they can follow the links."

In the first edition of the program, Cadillac has an ad on the back cover of the print piece and a commercial on the CD-ROM that links to a Web site.

Mr. Chistoni also is excited about the program's potential appeal to marketers new to insert media.

"Most insert programs do not have geography selects, so this allows marketers that need geography to participate in insert media," he said. "It also helps TV-driven direct marketers to be able to use the insert medium."

Existing insert media stalwarts such as Oreck and Bose already have shown interest, Mr. Chistoni said.

The Hollywood Previews program takes up to 20 paper inserts monthly. The base cost is $30/M.

Contracts are being negotiated to expand the program into the Chicago, New York, Long Island, Los Angeles and Minneapolis markets, Mr. Brda said, and iMedia aims for another 20 markers in 2007. If iMedia meets its goals for 2006, monthly circulation will be 5 million U.S. households.

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