IQ News: AgencyComPile Offers

Online Agency Directory, the Boston-based business-to-business directory of interactive advertising, public relations, direct marketing and sales promotions agencies, is relaunching itself today as is a virtual showroom where prospective clients can view at no charge the style, work, fees, location, gross revenue, staff, industry experience and contacts of marketing communications agencies with just a few clicks.
Since its original launch as MarcomAvenue last November, the 10-employee operation has attracted more than 1 million users and amassed nearly 2,000 clients, including Saatchi & Saatchi, Arnold Communications, TFA/Leo Burnett Technology Group and Bozell Worldwide, according to Sara Lepkowski, a spokesperson for AgencyComPile.
“We’re focusing on the agency side of the business right now,” said Lepkowski. “We wanted to get back to our agency roots.” She said MarcomAvenue was originally intended as a destination site for the marketing communications industry featuring news, public relations and planning tools. “We still have links to that, but that’s not our focus.”
Interactive portfolios can shorten the sales cycle, she added. “It gets the right people connected that much sooner,” she said.
Agencies can post their static listings such as name, logo, address and phone at no cost; a fully interactive portfolio costs $1,500 per year, including encoding fees for 30- or 60-second video spots.
Agencies typically send reels with six TV or video spots, which are cleaned up and encoded. Thumbnails and streaming video plays are created from the material and posted on the site, according to Lepkowski.
In dealing with the complexities of ever-changing platforms, formats, bandwidths and standards, required an expert partner regarding encoding.
To gain that expertise, it has formed a 12-month strategic alliance with Loudeye Technologies, a Seattle-based digital media services provider that formerly did business as Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Loudeye’s association with was facilitated, in part, by Seattle-based RealNetworks, a pioneer in streaming technology on the Internet that is best known for RealPlayer, according to Charlyn Warner, services product marketing manager for Loudeye.
With a staff of some 240 employees and a host of proprietary digital technology, Loudye can encode 2,000 CDs or video clips a day. A typical streaming video format bit costs $7 per minute, while additional bit rates start at $2.50 per minute, Warner said. n