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Subject: UKNM: More webwashing
From: Tim Hayward
Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 18:09:13 +0100

>
> updated 4:55 p.m. 12.May.99.PDT
>
> A Real Dilemma for Webcasters
> by <chrisjatwired [dot] com (mailto:chrisjatwired [dot] com)>Christopher Jones
>
> 3:00 a.m. 12.May.99.PDT
> Software that blocks ads on the Web has been around for almost as long as the
> banners themselves. But for various reasons, these tools never caught on.
>
> Still, when <http://www.realnetworks.com>RealNetworks recently began promoting
> a new version of ad-blocking software, some of its clients were aghast. After
> all, Webcasters depend on banner advertising to survive. They complain that
> Real's promotion of <http://www.atguard.com/>AtGuard, a product developed by
> WRQ, a Seattle-based software company, is a threat to their livelihood.
>
>
> See also:
>
<http://redirect.wired.com/redir/10025/http://www.wired.com/news/news/poli
> tics/story/19519.html>RealNetworks Gets Video in 3-D
>
> "There is a fundamental principle involved in surviving the Internet
> streaming business," said Scott Mathias, editorial director of
> <http://www.itvworld.com>ITVworld.com, a Real client that was rankled by the
> development. "I consider Real's release of 'revenue-blocking software' as
> ill-conceived and ill-timed, and it is definitely an illustration of Real's
> totally unsupportive partnership program."
>
> Mathias wasn't the only one to complain. Messages went out on Webcasting
> newsgroups, and debate ensued about the company's motivations -- might they
> be undermining banner ads to promote their new audio and video advertising
> tools?
>
> They threatened to boycott Real's software and find other ways to undermine
> the company's business. Others, however, noted that ad-blockers are a user's
> right.
>
> Although RealNetworks didn't develop the ad-blocking software, the company
> did promote it -- at a 50 percent discount, to boot -- in an email message
> that went out to many of its customers earlier this month:
>
> Dear RealPlayer Plus Customer,
>
> Time stands still -- especially if you're waiting for slow Web sites to load.
> And it's even worse when the wait is caused by graphics or pop-ups hat you'd
> rather not see. Finally, there's a solution.
>
> It's called AtGuard, an award-winning application that boosts your omputer's
> performance, privacy, and protection online. Try it now from ealNetworks,
> risk-free, for only $14.95.
>
> AtGuard is designed to speed up Web page downloads -- by up to six imes, the
> company claims -- and lets users set up a personal firewall that can
> selectively block graphics, cookies, and other widgets.
>
> Steve Banfield, general manager for the RealPlayer group, said that he
> company had no intention of undermining its clients' business, and hat its
> availability "was just a case of the e-commerce guys saying, 'this is cool
> product that our customers might like.'"
>
> "We still make money on banner ads, and we're not so stupid to make hat part
> of our revenue model go away," he explained. "At the end of the day, I hink
> most people realize they have two options: ad-free content, la HBO, r they
> can watch ads and have that support what they are doing."
> It's not cheap to be in the Webcasting business these days. RealNetwork's
> servers <http://www.real.com/solutions/internet/order.html#order>cost about
> US$28,000 to support 400 users and about $70,000 to support 1,000 users.
>
> Charles Arruda, a senior vice president at
> <http://www.channelseek.com>ChannelSeek, has already built a software tool
> that thwarts ad-blocking software by redirecting browsers to another site
> that includes the ad. Arruda voiced his concerns about the ad-blocking
> software last week, and said that Webcasters already have enough trouble
> supporting their business without software that would cut into ad
> impressions.
>
> "As you can see, it can get real expensive -- just 400 users, not much in
> Internet audience terms, [costs] $30,000," he said in an email. He wasn't coy
> in pointing out that Microsoft and Apple Computer offer similar products to
> RealNetworks for far cheaper or for free.
>
> "You can imagine the licenses required by House of Blues or Rolling Stone,
> who sometimes have 40,000 concurrent viewers," Arruda said. "That's why some
> of these guys like House of Blues are gradually moving to MS Media Server."
>
> So why hasn't this software -- which kills ads dead in their tracks and
> speeds up page downloads -- been adopted by more people? After all, it's been
> around as shareware for almost as long as banner ads, which sprung up on the
> Web in 1994.
>
> One reason is the general reluctance to download anything resembling a
> plug-in.
>
> "I think part of it is getting the word out," said Anne Marshall, head of
> marketing for the AtGuard product. "We can't buy advertising. Nobody will
> take our money, but we've had really good press coverage.
>
<http://interactive.wsj.com/articles/PersonalTechnologyCenter.htm>Walter

> Mossberg reviewed it and we saw a huge spike," she said.
>
> But ad-blocking software may have its day yet, as behemoths like
> <http://www.siemens.com>Siemens promote it as a bandwidth-saving tool for
> large corporations. The company's browser plug-in,
> <http://www.siemens.de/servers/wwash/wwash_us.htm>WebWasher removes ads on Web
> pages, filters pop-up windows and animated images, and "saves up to 45
> percent network bandwidth," according to the company. The price? Free.
>
> Tom Britt, president of ChannelSeek, said that eventually there will be
> different types of business and advertising models on the Web to support
> content and information sites. But that time hasn't arrived.
>
> "For people that use Real servers, the Webcasting model is about banner
> impressions. Not many are selling ads in streams yet. For Real to come out
> with this is encouraging people to put ads in streams," he said. "There's no
> doubt it will happen, but I don't think it's Real's place to push the buttons
> for the wrong reasons. They're not helping their customers at all."
>
> But Real's Banfield isn't worried about the impact of ad-blocking software,
> pointing out that only tech-savvy users will install it.
>
> "I don't think we set a precedent. After the uproar, we learned a lesson and
> realized that we shouldn't promote it like this [with email notifications].
> It's a sensitive topic, so we have to be careful," he said.
>
> Related Wired Links:
>
>
>
<http://r.wired.com/r/10025/http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/stor
> y/19492.html>Less Ad Money Spent Online
> 4.May.99
>
>
>
<http://r.wired.com/r/10025/http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/stor
> y/19437.html>RealNetworks Has a New Tune
> 3.May.99
>
>
>
<http://r.wired.com/r/10025/http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/stor
> y/18115.html>3-D Images, Without the Glasses
>
>
<http://r.wired.com/r/10025/http://www.wired.com/news/news/culture/story/1
> 6449.html>It's More Real than Ever
> 23.Nov.98
>
>
>
<http://r.wired.com/r/10025/http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/stor
> y/15289.html>RealNetworks Video Steps Up
>
>
<http://r.wired.com/r/10025/http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/stor
> y/11973.html>RealNetworks Unveils Its Next Generation
>
>
> Have a comment on this article?
> <newsfeedbackatwired [dot] com (mailto:newsfeedbackatwired [dot] com)>Send it.
>
>
>
> <http://www.wired.com/home/copyright.html>Copyright 1994-99 Wired
Digital
> Inc. All rights reserved.

--
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Tim Hayward. Senior Consultant. e:HHCL.
Kent House,14-17 Market Place, Gt Titchfield St,
London, W1N 7AJ. Tel +44-171-915-7579.

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Replies
  Re: UKNM: More webwashing, Paul Douglas

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