Technology startup BlueStreak.com this week launches E*Banners, a rich media tool featuring audio, video and animation it hopes will compete against Home's Enliven and Thinking Media's ActiveAds technologies.
BlueStreak.com, formed in March to support its year-old, patent-pending E*Banners application, has already signed several clients to use the ads, including Lycos, Pfizer Pharmaceutical, Times Mirror Interzines and Sylvan Learning Systems, said Annette Tonti, president of Newport, R.I.-based BlueStreak.com. Agencies testing the service include K2 Design and Grey Interactive, both New York.
The Java applet uses 6.4 kilobytes on the initial download and lets any size icon expand when clicked to allow e-commerce transactions, data gathering and contests, among other options. The technology works with Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator versions 3.0 and higher.
The advantage over competitors, according to Tonti, is that E*Banners load quickly without extra coding by a site. Ads are retrieved using the same code as standard GIF banners. "The BlueStreak name is about being fast," she said.
BlueStreak.com offers clients an ad management engine providing tracking on a monthly, weekly, daily or hourly basis. Ads also gauge the movement and choices of users. The CPM is $1 to $3, depending on volume. Transactional E*Banners are priced at a per-transaction rate.
Scott Kliger, vice president of ad technology for Redwood City, Calif.-based Excite Home, said his company pays attention to all competitive technologies, but sees BlueStreak.com's offering as incomplete. "E*Banner is [just] a feature of the [Excite Home] Enliven solution," he said, which also offers expanding banners.
BlueStreak contends that Enliven's use of the Macromedia Director authoring tool slows down development, although Kliger argues that ads can be ready within hours if the creative is complete.
Home recently announced a deal with Macromedia to integrate the Enliven technology into Macromedia's Flash and Shockwave players. E*Banners use the Flash technology for animation.
- Adrienne Mand