YouTube model meets BTB Web casts on new site

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With Webcasts increasingly the go-to Internet marketing strategy among business-to-business companies, it's no surprise that Webcasting solutions provider On24 Inc. has thousands of these marketing messages just hanging out in cyberspace.

Hoping to give BTB marketers a way to provide a second life to their rich media content, On24 is launching Insight24 on April 9. The syndication service aggregates Webcasts, podcasts, corporate videos and online demos from across rich media platforms and offers it to vertical search engines, high-tech blogs and other Web sites targeting IT professionals.

"Companies are not sure what to do with Web casts afterwards [or] how to get additional viewers," said Tom Masotto, vice president of business development at On24, San Francisco. "By focusing on rich media and on the BTB audience, we're marrying the two models of YouTube and the white paper directories."

Mr. Masotto said that while he thinks there will be a viral effect from Insight24, the company's current focus is on building a syndication network.

Last year, On24 offered more than 12,000 Webcasts from more than 500 organizations across the high-tech, life sciences and technology publishing sectors. About 50 percent of the Webcasts were designed as lead generation vehicles and approximately 80 percent of participants viewed the content as a live event. In other words, all the time and effort that went into creating a Webcast is often wasted once the live event is over.

In addition to driving more viewers to the content, Insight24 is offering marketers a lead generation service that provides them with a list of the Webcast registrants.

Insight24 will also generate revenue through advertising. Content providers can publish on Insight24 at no cost. The content does have to pass a screening process to ensure that it is applicable to the audience and that it is categorized appropriately. Insight24 divides its content into 30 categories, including CRM, networking and supply chain.

In addition to being updated regularly, the content will have Web 2.0 functionality, meaning end-users will be able to rank, comment and tag content. Registered users can also receive updates by subscribing to keyword and category-specific RSS feeds.

Insight24's first syndication deal is with IT.com, a vertical search engine for information technology solutions. More than 100 content providers have been signed up so far, including Brocade, EMC, Frost & Sullivan, Novell and US Telecom.

By offering content from Insight24, the site hopes to enhance its mission of providing users with a one-stop portal for finding the information they want related to information technology solutions.

"According to a recent study, 57 percent of business and IT professionals are influenced by online videos and rich media content for work-IT related decisions," Mr. Masotto said.

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