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CNN Offers Streaming Video Tool to Advertisers

CNN will resell streaming video and audio technology to advertisers that position banner ads on its network of Web sites. The Java-based technology streams onto a Web page, allowing the end-user to view and hear the banner ad without media players or plug-ins.

CNN will offer the technology as a result of an agreement announced this week with EyeWonder, a provider of streaming video technologies.

“The user doesn't have to have Real, Windows or QuickTime,” said Michael Griffin, vice president of marketing at EyeWonder, Atlanta. “And because it's Java-based, it can stream directly into a page and right into whatever part of the page it's been specified to go.”

CNN, also headquartered in Atlanta, tested the technology last month with several advertisers, including Volvo and Comdisco. Results from those tests were not available, the company said.

Michael Stoeckel, vice president of interactive ad systems for CNN Internet technologies, said CNN also tested the technology with a video and audio banner ad for the network's Crossfire program. The ad immediately played when a user visited the U.S. News and Sci-Tech sections of www.cnn.com.

CNN teamed with EyeWonder because the technology allows advertisers to convert commercial tape they would use for television ads into banners, Stoeckel said. Further, while advertising agencies may be interested in video and audio Web technology, they may not be versed in developing them yet, he said.

“It's just like Web banners in 1994 or 1995, when most agencies and advertisers from the beginning probably weren't able to put this type of creative together,” Stoeckel said.

However, CNN, which has similar agreements with other video and audio technology providers, will only temporarily resell ad solutions, Stoeckel said.

The deal with EyeWonder is for six months.

“We're hoping that advertisers and agencies, as these technologies become more popular, will begin building the ads and using the tools themselves,” Stoeckel said. “The end game for us is not to be in the ad creation business.”

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