VitalStream swims into the ad space at ad:tech

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NEW YORK-VitalStream Holdings used ad:tech New York as a launch pad into the advertising world after acquiring Eon Streams and adding advertising functionality to its platform earlier this year.

The advertising platform added monetary value to the video and audio streaming services and rich media that VitalStream was providing to its customers.

"The complaint we were getting from our clients was that they were not able to monetize content which led to the acquisition of Eon Streams," said Michel Maeso, executive vice president of global sales and marketing at VitalStream, Costa Mesa, CA. "Now clients can make money by selling ads."

The VitalStream service lets clients like Pontiac, MTV and ABC Radio create ad insertion on demand in real time. For instance, if an event is being broadcast live, rather than cutting off a speaker and running the ad, the ad can be held until the appropriate moment when the speaker is done talking.

Another function combines audio ads with banner ads. For example, a listener may access an ABC Radio broadcast online but not look at the homepage directly. The listener may be doing other work and looking at another page entirely. The audio ad will direct the listener back to the homepage to click on the banner if the product interests them.

Broadcast firms can either sell and insert the ads themselves or allow VitalStream to manage ad sales and insertion.

Last month, performance network services firm Internap Network Services Corp. in an 11.2 million-share transaction acquired Vital Stream. Mr. Maeso said that Vital Stream will continue with its services.

The acquisition represents an increase in the two firms' product lines in a time when streaming audio and video on the Web is more critical and complex. Vital Stream CEO Jack Waterman will run the conjoined company.

In the meantime, VitalStream is pushing into the ad space by exhibiting at ad:tech New York. Mr. Maseo said that the show was a good learning experience.

"In this morning's session I heard that $410 million was spent in online video in 2007 and that in 2008 this number will increase to $1.3 billion," Mr. Maseo said. "I am here to learn and to meet clients in the advertising space."

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