Webcasting, Yale Reach Into TV's Past
"Regardless of what some may say or fear, direct response television will never die," said Yale Video and WebcastingTV.com president Burt Yale. "Using the Internet and Webcasting specifically is a new avenue to complement and bring more of an audience to a direct response campaign. You can provide valuable information and new commerce application available no where else."
Webcasting.com launched in November, but site traffic has been steady, and expanding the capabilities of the site was planned from day one.
"Webcasting is the newest form of broadcast," Yale said. "We planned to exploit it to its fullest potential from the beginning. This is a great opportunity to combine all the facets of our production facilities, DRTV experience and clients and other Net-based marketing partners."
One of the six main links located on the center of the Webcasting.com's splash page is labeled "direct response" and includes spots that Yale Video has done for Guthy Renker, Bissel and The Hollywood Diet, among others. The decision to move to live programming will initially affect two other links that send consumers to marketing and content partners ballgirl.com and onsitetrading.com, but it eventually will push many more of WebcastingTV.com's partners into the original Web-content business. There also are plans to morph the current direct response link into a source for others in the DRTV industry.
"The potential for this is endless," said Yale. "When we roll out the live channels, they will be shot in our production studios, include DRTV commercials we have made and also will be sponsored by marketing partners. It is interesting how on the Web we are moving back toward the old days of TV, when a company would sponsor programming instead of slotting commercials like we see today. In this case, though, sponsorship also means a direct link to a site for more information and potential purchases."
Webcasting.com spokesman Dan Zakowski said Yale's knowledge of television and direct response will be invaluable tools for the firm.
"So many Webcasting sites today are started by people with technical or Internet backgrounds," Zakowski said. "Burt has been around television production and direct response television from the beginning. He understands that this is really the same medium with a different delivery process."
In conjunction with Don King Productions, the site will feature a live behind-the-scenes Webcast from the Reid vs. Trinidad fight in Las Vegas on March 3. Webcasting.com also has entered into a joint venture with SBN and Luna TV to create totallatino.com, a Latino-based entertainment site that includes Webcasts and Net radio.
Webcasts also help put together lists. Webcasting.com scored more than 25,000 qualified leads from registering e-mail addresses for a free password into a Honda Webcast from the Detroit Auto show in early January and hopes to be able to do the same in the future.
Regardless of his forays into other arenas, Yale said he constantly tries to meld DRTV into his new projects.
"People in the industry have nothing to be scared about," e said. "Direct response television is not going away, it's just changing for the better. How can someone argue with more sales opportunities and new ways to get someone to see their product?"