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Real Broadcasts Network Beefs up its Ad Insertion Solution

Real Broadcast Network announced today that it has begun deployment of a live ad insertion technology that offers broadcasters the option to either stream their terrestrial broadcast advertisement or replace it with an Internet-only advertisement. Real announced its ad insertion technology and customers almost a year ago to the day, but today announced that it can also target its ads.

Najesh Pabbisetty, vice president at RBN, states that some additional features of the Radio Business Applications suite offered by RBN are the ability for a user to click through to purchase the CD if they like the song, and syndicated news and weather from screamingmedia.com with one button access on the player.

The recent commotion regarding the AFTRA rules, which require advertisers to pay an artist three times the session fee to purchase Internet rights for a year if the spot was originally recorded for broadcast radio, has caused the spotlight to fall on ad insertion. With ad insertion, the terrestrial ads are striped from the feed and replaced with Internet only ads, and with targeted ad insertion, the ads are picked to fit the end-users profile.

Emmis Communications, one of the companies that pulled its live streams this week, has announced that it will be coming back to the Internet once the Local Internet Media Venture (LMiV) is up and running. LMiV is an industry-owned venture that hopes to aggregate all local radio Web sites into a portal that provides new, classified ads, and other services. The portal will be accessed from the local radio station's Web addresses and be transparent to the user.

Bonneville International Corporation, Corus Entertainment, EMMIS Communications, Entercom Communications and Jefferson Pilot, together have joined to form LMiV, which signed on to use RBN's services, including ad insertion, in December of last year.

"As we move closer to our broadcast launch of LMiV, we are especially confident in our decision to partner with RealNetworks and Real Broadcast Network,'' said Jack Swarbrick, CEO, LMiV. "RBN's Radio Business Applications suite — and particularly its live ad insertion technology — is critical to our stations' ability to meet advertisers' needs and to generate revenue.''

But for fans of any of EMMIS' streams, the news may be bitter sweet. LMiV's Web site is to date, a dramatic flash animation chronicling the history of radio with a promise that April 2001 is the date to know.

Lisa Amore, a spokeswoman for RBN, states that some of the LMiV stations are already in beta testing of the system, though, including WTOB news radio in Washington, DC.

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