BuyMedia Unveils Web Site For Selling Cable TV Ads

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BuyMedia Inc. will announce today that it has added cable television to its online brokering of TV and radio ad spots. The Web-based firm said the cable service had been in development for more than a year.

"We want to have immediate traction when it comes out," said CEO Mike Jackson. "We did the same thing with the television and radio aspects. Those were in development for four years."

The Burlingame, CA-based company reports that handled $500 million of transactions last year by providing marketers an ad trading portal that sells air time for TV and radio stations. BuyMedia generates revenue by charging broadcast firms 3 percent on such sales, and the firm expects the cable addition to significantly boost its bottom line.

Jackson said the sales fee was far below the average ad broker fee of 6 to 25 percent, and the low percentage was key to his site's success of attracting broadcast stations to enter partnering agreements. Advertisers don't have to pen such deals, he said, but can apply at the site to join its free affiliate program. One ad agency said the biggest advantage to using the was being able to buy TV and radio time at one Web site.

"We don't have to spend nearly as much time faxing and order processing as we did in the past," said Lynn Foster, media director at Rose Glenn Group, a BuyMedia client based in Reno, NV. She said, "We also save money on things like faxing and other smaller expenses."

Foster said her ad agency learned about the Web-based company from a direct mail piece sent by BuyMedia last year and has used the service since February. She said she had not heard of any online ad brokers before that point.

Entertainment-based Web marketing firm Interactive Distribution Inc. is expected to launch its ad distribution Web site early this summer. Barrett Laroda, vice president of the West Lake Village, CA-based company, said establishing name recognition would key the early successes or failures of the site, which will feature online re-runs of national and local television programs.

"It's a struggle," he said. "But we plan on rolling out ads (before the launch) to respected trade magazines and some daily newspapers to get the word out. And then we'll move from there."

Jackson of BuyMedia said his firm's ongoing direct mail campaign was attracting affiliates, but mostly because of the time his company put into product development. The Web site currently entails 2,000 media buyers who can do business in over 900 U.S. cities.

"We customize every mail piece for the potential customers," he said, "but our demonstrations of the product have yielded an 80 percent conversion rate. It's selling itself."

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