Also today, shockwave.com is expected to announce two partnerships. First, Oscar and Emmy Award-winning director, producer and screenwriter James L. Brooks’ Gracie Films will create animated content for the Internet exclusively for shockwave.com. This deal follows recently inked deals with director Tim Burton and South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Second, the MTVi Group, New York, signed an Internet radio deal with shockwave.com whereby the company will provide Internet radio services and content to shockwave.com. MTVi and shockwave.com will create a co-branded radio tuner.
According to Rob Burgess, chairman and CEO at San Francisco-based shockwave.com and Macromedia–the software company from which shockwave.com was spun off of last year–content creators and advertisers who were initially reluctant to use Macromedia technology are now increasingly using Flash and Shockwave, which let users experience
full animation and audio even at slow dial-up speeds.
Burgess claimed that shockwave.com experienced more than 46 million downloads last month alone, adding that the adoption rate for Shockwave technology is still growing. “It’s really not unlike any new format,” he explained. “When the CD first came out hardly any artists recorded for it, then all of the sudden everybody has a CD player. That’s what’s happening with Flash.”
David Steinberger, shockwave.com vice president of sales and commerce, said that thanks to the company’s explosive growth, ad sales have been brought in house.
“In the beginning, we outsourced all of our selling efforts to DoubleClick,” said Steinberger. “They did a very nice job of selling banner inventory and a decent job at sponsorships and beyond the banner options. But that’s not where they have the most focus.
“When we made the decision to go from shockrave to shockwave and really build it out as a separate company and take full advantage of the opportunity in the online entertainment space,” he continues, “one of the important decisions we made was to bring our sales in-house. The decision revolves around a number of things: Shockwave has a very well-known brand name so we don’t necessarily need to piggy back on DoubleClick’s name; our traffic was projected to grow dramatically and has done so; and we didn’t think Double- Click would scale.”
Steinberger said that the clickthrough rates on shockwave.com was 1.8 percent, or more than five times the average of other sites.
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