Friday, April 14, 2006

MS Podcast

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New Podcast Technology Helps Create First Arthritis Radio Program

New Podcast Technology Helps Create First Arthritis Radio Program

Thanks to a number of pioneers before me, the world of “podcasting” now basically enables people to create their own radio-like programs out of their own homes or offices. When I became aware of this technology, I was quite elated because I realized that it would give me another really wonderful platform for patient education. We call our program “Arthritis Central News and Views” and you can find it right next to the Arthritis Blog on the home page. You simply click on the link button and then wait for five to ten seconds or less for the program to open up and download onto your computer. It will then start playing on its own in your default media player such as iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc.

I am planning on doing a number of things on the AC News and Views program. First off, I will bring you up-to-date on some of the latest arthritis-related news stories. Secondly, I plan on interviewing patients about their experiences in coping with their rheumatic diseases. I also will see how they are utilizing the various exercise and other coping DVDs available at Have these made a difference in the way they feel? Also, which of the twelve steps in the Take Back Control of Your Arthritis: The 12 Critical Steps book has helped them the most. Are they following the roadmap that I provide for them and has this changed their lives in any significant way? We will touch on some issues that the book raises during these interviews and discussions.

Finally, I hope to interview rheumatologists and other experts from around the country and get their points of view regarding the latest information in the diagnosis and treatment of the rheumatic diseases. I will ask about exciting new research and advances that we should expect to see in the coming months and years. New scientific discoveries and innovative therapies offer hope to the arthritis sufferer. I plan on making this show inspirational in any way that I can. If I can empower you with the knowledge that you need to “take back control” and get you not to despair and lose hope, then the Arthritis Central News and Views Podcast will be considered an enormous success to me.

Visit the Podcast Page to start listening:

Joel Rutstein M.D.

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PODCAST: Virgil Simons of "The Prostate Net"

Podcast: Virgil Simons on Building Grassroots WOM


Virgil Simons had a hunch. After recognizing that a barber is often the one person most men will talk about anything -- including personal medical problems -- he figured that they would make ideal agents in a word of mouth campaign. In this podcast, Virgil explains how his hunch paid off.


Virgil Simons is the Founder & President of The Prostate Net, a patient education and advocacy organization. Using the experiences gained in surviving prostate cancer, Virgil built an international organization that uses a matrix of informational techniques (Web site, 800#, email and personal team counselors, public forums, newsletters and community disease interventions) to address disease risk awareness and early disease interdiction.


To download the podcast, right-click the "Listen Now" icon and choose "Save As" or "Download Link Target"


Click the "Get Podcast" icon to subscribe to WOMMA's podcast series

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Podcast From the Heart

Podcast From the Heart

The iPod’s sleek design and status-symbol white earbuds are Gen-X trademarks, but Grayson Wheatley is introducing the audio player to a demographic advertisers forgot: elderly patients with chronic health problems.

Wheatley, a cardiovascular surgeon at the Arizona Heart Institute in Phoenix, recently launched a podcasting series to educate patients he believes is among the first of its kind. He has produced podcasts, from two minutes to an hour long and contain video and audio content, that keep clinic visitors informed about the procedures they'll undergo and brief them on ways to lead a healthy lifestyle afterward.

In the programs, which have titles like "Angioplasty and Plaque Excision" or "Coronary Artery Bypass," AHI physicians describe each step in an operation and its importance as new age music plays in the background. "Endarterectomy," for instance, explains that clearing deposits from the carotid artery reduces stroke risk because excess plaque encourages blood clots to form and lodge in the brain.

Any internet user -- whether an AHI patient or not -- can access the presentations by subscribing to a free podcasting feed or downloading the files directly from the hospital’s website.

Wheatley’s med-tech brainstorm came while listening to his own iPod on a business train trip. "I started thinking, 'Wouldn’t this be a great way for patients to get information about their health?'" he said. After returning home, Wheatley started piecing together scripts for possible podcasts.

Once the initial series of programs was complete, he cleared the stacks of magazines out of his waiting room and replaced them with docked iPods, each with a collection of his podcasts on its hard drive. Office visitors are encouraged to use the iPods as they wait for their appointments to begin and are taught how to download the same podcasts onto their own computers or iPods.

Wheatley views the programs as extensions of patient visits that have been cut increasingly short at the behest of health insurance companies. "When I sit down and talk to someone and say, 'You have heart disease,' they might not know what the consequences are," he said. "The podcasts make that exchange easier and also let patients go back and confirm information once they've heard it from the doctor."

Most of his patients were not gadget-literate to begin with, but Wheatley was pleasantly surprised at how quickly they took to the teaching program. "They look at me a little strangely when I first show them the iPod, but once I show them how it works, they're very comfortable with it," he said. "They get very excited about showing this portable information to their family and friends."

Robert Mayfield, who goes to the AHI for regular checkups, recently got an iPod video as a gift. Looking for ways to put his new toy to use, he began downloading files from the hospital's site -- and found himself unexpectedly impressed with the content. "It's access to information that's valuable to everyone, and the quality of the video is good," he said. "I’ve even taught my parents how to use it, and they picked it up really easily."

After mastering the basics of podcast downloading, Phil Calderone, who visited the hospital for laser-based tests on his heart, no longer felt as lost during his appointments. "It took me a little while to learn about the internet, but once you're on there, it's great," he said. "Getting specific information about your procedure takes a lot of the fear of the unknown out of it. In my 20s, I’d have had to go to a library to find out this stuff."


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The Cardiovascular Multimedia Information Network

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Industry Survey Predicts Changes

Industry Survey Predicts Changes

The Annual DTC Industry Check-Up from Optas indicates that marketers from pharma companies and advertising agencies expect a flat DTC spending year in 2006. Actual 2005 numbers showed about a 5% increase and most marketers surveyed indicated increases in 2006 would be less than 5% again. For the last several years marketers have been predicting a shift away from mass media towards targeted media.

The reality has been different. It is true that mass media has been losing some share to direct/Internet/in-office media alternatives. These shifts have been real but slow in magnitude. Marketers clearly want to find the golden goose of direct marketing. It has been difficult, however, to find direct programs that can achieve the scale and sales results of mass media.

The 2006 survey shows a strong desire of marketers to shift more money out of mass media to the Internet and to in-office programs. 65% of those surveyed thought that the Internet should see increased spending, with 58% citing in-office programs. Less than 10% thought television should increase. Remember, however, these are "should increase" numbers not "will increase" numbers. Marketers know they should be better targeting spending but have not been too successful doing it. In this survey, Optas says marketers are saying that they will in fact increase targeted spending, a difference from past surveys.

The issue with targeted spending has always been the size and quality of lists of prospects. Some supplier companies have been very successful identifying good audiences and have shown strong business growth. The fact is that even the best companies in this space have not grown much in absolute dollar terms versus mass media. We are seeing 5 million dollar companies grow to 10 million, but that is not much in a $5 billion market. The Optas survey indicates a huge opportunity for targeted marketing companies if they can expand their lists.

The Optas survey also showed the biggest concern among DTC mass media marketers is physician and consumer backlash. Marketers showing concern over backlash increased significantly from past surveys. Concern over new government regulations in 2006 dropped somewhat because marketers know how slow that process can be.

The implications of the Optas survey are that DTC marketers believe they should be finding alternatives to mass media. The reality is that it is not easy to replace mass media with direct and relationship programs that can deliver comparable sales. What the desire to shift indicates is that mass media companies need to be careful about their pricing/efficiency and targeted companies need to be offering larger reach opportunities to drug clients. It is clearly an evolutionary shift that will take years to be significant in terms of dollar shift. The best hope for relationship companies is that the FDA makes mass media impractical by increasing risk disclosure requirements. This is unlikely to occur in 2006-7 because of positive industry changes in their creative style (more sober) and risk disclosure actions (more emphasis). Of course a Democratic victory in 2008 could change the desire of the FDA to restrict DTC. We will all have to wait and se! e on t hat possibility.

Bob Ehrlich, Chairman
DTC Perspectives, Inc.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

New technology adoption to boost media dollars

New technology adoption to boost media dollars

Monterey, Calif.—Adoption of new technologies will significantly boost media revenues in 2006, according to Kagan Research’s “Media Trends 2006” report. The online advertising market will grow an estimated 21.7% this year to $14.5 billion in revenue, the report said. Kagan also projects the online advertising market will reach $25.5 billion in five years and $33.4 billion in 10 years.


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How To Make More Money By Not Charging For Video Ads

How To Make More Money By Not Charging For Video Ads

Please click here.WARNER WOLF COINED THE PHRASE "Let's go to the videotape" in the late '70s. He was a sportscaster on ABC television in New York, and that phrase would send us into a state of frenzy. For many in the region, Warner was the gatekeeper to sports video highlights each night. What made him unique--the impetus behind his catchphrase--was that he showed highlights from teams outside the New York market. I still recall that sinking feeling those times we abruptly broke from dinner only to tune in and see weatherman Frank Fields, which meant we had missed our serving of video highlights.

Today, Warner Wolf works in radio, sports is on twenty-four hours a day, and video is available anywhere you like it, including online. But is online where we really want our video served, or is this a case of the advertising tail wagging the content dog? I have been told on occasion not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so let's see how we can put the horse back in front of this cart.

Just a reminder: the consumer is the horse. Consumers set the pace through their consumption. The lack of supply widely reported in this segment of online advertising is one sign that the horse is not eating what it is being fed. I spoke to a sales director at a major portal who validated this lack of appetite. The portal had a big content cross-promotion on its site late last year that involved streaming video, and yet the revenue tied to the pre-roll advertising (video ads that run prior to the video content) was minimal. "There just were so few streams relative to the promotion of the content, we hardly made any money," he told me.

This lack of consumption, however, has not stopped companies from pushing the cart right past the horse. This includes Klipmart, who profits from the creation and placement of video advertising online, without any responsibility for the development of the content the consumer grazes. Klipmart announced last week its executives are having conversations with media buyers regarding a simulated upfront for online video ad inventory. "Broadband video has become a must-have companion to TV advertising" said a Klipmart sales executive, "so it makes sense that it should be planned in the same way and at the same time as the traditional TV and cable upfront."

So Klipmart, here are a few questions for you: Will you be showing two- to four-minute clips of the video content you represent to give buyers a sense of the programming quality? Will you have the actors and directors on hand to further define the content's voice and what kind of person is apt to listen? Will you be presenting projected rating points by demo for each program, or will you just be talking about how many more "televisions were purchased last quarter versus the quarter before," and saying that inventory is really tight?

Sorry to pick on the very bright folks at Klipmart, but instead of a premature promotion of a simulated upfront, maybe they can lead the online video advertising market discussion down a path with less resistance from the horse they are riding.

This market subset has their eye on the right issues, such as content quality controls and better technical user experiences, for example. However, the irony is that companies involved in the production, purchase and sale of online video advertising produce and place the very barrier that prevents the horse from keeping pace.

Pre-roll ads are not the only kind of video advertising sold, but they are the most popular. However, unlike television, where viewers are conditioned to let a commercial have its day in court before we hit the clicker, the experience on the Web centers on greater control and even greater speed. Users who choose to engage with video content are easily frustrated by the 10 to 15 (or in some cases, 30) seconds of a pre-roll ad message. Try holding your mouse steady right now for 10 to 15 seconds and tell me how much you needed to fend off the urge to move or click.

David Verklin of Carat weighed in on this issue when he commented, "Commercials on the Web in broadband have to be 10 seconds, not 30 seconds like television." CBSMarketwatch has dedicated an entire ad campaign to convincing advertisers (and buyers) to run no more than 10-second pre-roll spots, all in an effort to improve the drop-off ratio they know occurs with readers who do not stick around to consume the content when met with a lengthy pre-roll ad. Both ideas are on the right track, but are not the solution that best serves the horse.

To ensure more video content gets consumed, publishers need to make the content easier to swallow by not selling pre-roll ads at all. Instead, sell two-and-a-half second "sponsored introductions" (just the advertiser's logo). When the video content the consumer requested is over, run post-roll ad spots where advertisers can share their creative wisdom, with the hope it earns the attention of the viewer instead of kidnapping it.

Inventory should stay the same, but you have given consumers fewer excuses to bail on content they are not used to digesting yet. Drop-off rates (which are never publicly discussed) should diminish, which means volume should grow. As for pricing the post-rolls and sponsored introductions, I encourage publishers not to charge for them at all. That is the biggest mistake publishers are making today. By assigning a high CPM value to one of their limited supply products, they are lowering the perceived value of the inventory they have the most of to sell (this issue does not, however, apply to video-only Web sites like or

Instead, online publishers should use this high-demand, low-supply product as a zero-priced, added-value hook to induce purchases of larger allotments of their impression-based ad inventory at higher CPM's (slightly similar to how network television stations force advertiser to spend money on other dayparts in order to buy prime time).

Sometimes the best way to sell a premium product is not to charge for it at all. As for the carts, if they all keep applying the right pressure, but stay behind the horse, they will get to where they want to go faster than they think.

Ari Rosenberg is a media sales consultant. Prior to starting his company, he was the vice president of sales at He can be reached at


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Adherence tool sends med reminders via voice or text message

Adherence tool sends med reminders via voice or text message

Pharmas looking to improve patient adherence can use a tool that sends medication reminders to patients via voice or text messages. The platform, MemoText, has a number of pharma projects underway and a couple launching in a few months, MemoText spokesperson Amos Adler tells ePharm5. The projects cover areas such as birth control, vaccinations, and HIV. Patients can set phone numbers and delivery times for their reminders and have access to online condition monitoring tools, call center representatives for questions or ordering refills, an adverse events monitoring tool, and other support tools. Adler says MemoText is conducting several pharmacy pilot programs that are validating improved refill rates based on use of the tool. MemoText is provided by systems and infrastructure development firm Enterprising Vision. Click the link below to learn more.


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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Great American Health Check

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Verispan Reports: 84% of Doctors Surveyed Find Internet Valuable Source of Information, Promotion

Verispan Reports: 84% of Doctors Surveyed Find Internet Valuable Source of Information, Promotion

YARDLEY, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 12, 2006 - According to Verispan's 2005 ePromotion Annual Study, a significant percentage of physicians spend over 7 hours online each week for any reason (41%), and 44% of physicians spend between 1 and 3 hours online for health research during an average week. One-quarter of surveyed physicians use message boards for medical information.

With physician Internet usage on the rise, pharmaceutical companies have been using ePromotion to reach doctors. Pharmaceutical companies' ePromotion spending reached $280 million in 2005, increasing 27% over the prior year, according to Verispan's ePromotion Audit, which monitors and tracks online pharmaceutical promotion to physicians.

Respondents generally felt the Internet had an impact on their knowledge and interaction with patients. Eighty-four percent of physicians responded positively about the impact the Internet has had on their knowledge about medical conditions and new products.

Additionally, 87% of physicians surveyed reported earning continuing medical education (CME) credits online, compared with 81% in 2004. The percentage of physicians who are earning more than 20% of their CME credits online grew from 31% to 40% in 2005. Not surprisingly, a third of the physicians surveyed reported a preference for earning CME credits online, and of those, 60% reported they would increase their participation in ePromotion over the next 6 months.

Similar to 2004, 68% of physicians added ePromotion to their face-to-face promotional activities in 2005. The percentage of physicians not participating in ePromotion has continued to decrease since 2003. Online events replaced virtual details as the most-preferred format online promotion in 2005. This shift correlates with physicians' requests for honoraria and is self-explanatory, since online events typically provide CME credits.

Interestingly, although physicians are reporting a growing preference for online events, Verispan's ePromotion Audit found that only 20% of online activities are of this type, while the majority of ePromotion consisted of virtual details (64%) in 2005.

For the fifth year, Verispan's ePromotion Annual Study analyzes how ePromotion fits into the total promotional picture. Physicians reported on their behaviors and preferences regarding the Internet, ePromotion, face-to-face promotion, electronic prescribing and ordering samples online. For the purpose of the study, ePromotion is defined as video details, online events and virtual details. The study also asks physicians to rank the top pharmaceutical companies for ePromotion activities/programs and the top facilitating companies.

The survey was deployed through Verispan's online market research platform. Approximately 1,000 physicians across 14 specialties participated by providing insight into their current and future ePromotion participation.

For more information on Verispan's 2005 ePromotion Annual Study, please contact Tara Hamm or Denise Dotzman at 800-982-5613; e-mail: or

About Verispan

Verispan, a healthcare informatics joint venture of Quintiles Transnational Corp. and McKesson Corp., provides a broad array of information products and services to the healthcare industry, including sales targeting and compensation products; market research audits; healthcare profiles; comprehensive managed care offerings; primary market research; opinion leader mapping; data integration, warehousing and mining; data analysis and consulting; direct mail; list services; disease management studies; clinical trial investigator targeting and protocol recruitment evaluation; healthcare outcomes; and cost/benefit analyses, among many others. Verispan is also the nation's leading provider of patient-centric longitudinal data, with dozens of products used by clients spanning the industry.

Headquartered in Yardley, Pa., Verispan employs over 500 dedicated healthcare information professionals. The company's Web site is

Contact Verispan Clients: Tara Hamm 800-982-5613 or 267-685-4300 or Denise Dotzman 800-982-5613 or 267-685-4300 or Media: Tracy Everly 800-982-5613 or 267-685-4300



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Internet Vies with Pharmacists as U.S. Consumers' Second-Most- Trusted Source for Medication Information, Accenture Survey Finds

Internet Vies with Pharmacists as U.S. Consumers' Second-Most- Trusted Source for Medication Information, Accenture Survey Finds

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 10, 2006 - U.S. consumers trust the Internet nearly as much as they do pharmacists as a resource from which to learn about medications, according to the results of a survey released today by Accenture (NYSE:ACN).

More than six out of 10 (61 percent) of the survey's 1,000 U.S. respondents said that physicians are their most trusted source for medication information, followed by pharmacists and online medical sites (16 percent and 13 percent, respectively). Nearly one-quarter (22 percent) of all respondents said that they learn about medications from pharmaceutical company-sponsored websites.

"The Internet has solidified its position as a trusted resource," said Philip George, a partner in Accenture's Health & Life Sciences practice. "While physicians remain the top source for information about medications, the gap is narrow between pharmacists and online medical sites for the number two spot. The ease of access to online resources has improved, empowering patients to become more involved in choices about their healthcare and engaging their physicians in discussions about the information they have amassed."

Respondents said that the main reasons they conduct more research today than they did five years ago are to identify potential safety risks and side effects related to medications prescribed for them (cited by 81 percent) and to educate themselves so that they can play a larger role in their medical care (cited by 76 percent). More than half (59 percent) of all polled said that they ask their physicians about medications they have learned about online or elsewhere. Of patients who initiate these discussions, one-third (33 percent) said their physicians prescribed those same medications.

In addition to conducting their own research, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents said that they have seen information provided by pharmaceutical companies in TV ads. Eighty-three percent said that they always or sometimes trust pharmaceutical company-provided information about medications, whereas only 60 percent said they always or sometimes trust company-sponsored advertising. Despite respondents' greater scrutiny of advertising, almost three-quarters (74 percent) of those polled said that advertising always or sometimes helps them learn about medications about which they may not have otherwise known.

"The future of healthcare is centered on the distinct needs of patients and connecting the right information at the right time to help make decisions about their care," said George. "Pharmaceutical companies, physicians and the larger healthcare community should continue to drive patient information through a multitude of channels. This will enable consumers to become even more informed about their healthcare options."

The survey also highlighted gender differences among respondents. According to the findings, women turn to online medical sites more than men (54 percent versus 43 percent) and peruse pharmaceutical company-hosted websites more than men (26 percent versus 18 percent). Additionally, significantly more women than men - 61 percent versus 50 percent - always read the package insert that comes with their prescription when starting a new medication.


The Accenture survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers taking medication(s) on a regular basis was fielded online and by telephone in January 2006.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills, and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 129,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$15.55 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2005. Its home page is

Contact Accenture Marykate Reese, +1-917-452-8738


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Blogs, Pods and Really Simple Stuff Deliver Advertising At An Increasing Rate

Blogs, Pods and Really Simple Stuff Deliver Advertising At An Increasing Rate

The first installment in PQ Media's Alternative Media Research Series, the Blog, Podcast and RSS Advertising Outlook, reports that advertising spending on user-generated online media - blogs, podcasts and RSS - did not begin until 2002, but this combined spending has grown to $20.4 million by the end or 2005, a 198.4% increase over the 2004 level. Spending on blog, podcast and RSS advertising is projected to climb another 144.9% in 2006 to $49.8 million.

 Some of the key growth drivers are continued audience fragmentation, the perceived ineffectiveness of traditional advertising, and the desire to reach the elusive 18- to 34 year-old demographic.

Other key findings included in the Executive Summary:

  • User-generated media remains primarily national in scope with 98.1%, or $20.0 million, of all advertising spending coming from the broader market in 2005
  • Advertising networks and click-throughs are the largest ad insertion methods, generating $8.0 million and $7.8 million, respectively
  • Blog advertising accounted for 81.4%, or $16.6 million, of total spending on user-generated online media in 2005, but blog ads will comprise only 39.7%, or $300.4 million, of overall spending in 2010
  • Podcast advertising totaled only $3.1 million in 2005, but is projected to reach $327.0 million in 2010, when it will account for 43.2% of all user-generated media advertising
  • Spending on RSS (Really Simple Syndication) advertising totaled $650,000 in 2005 and will grow to $129.6 million in 2010
  • Total spending on user-generated online media is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 106.1% from 2005 to 2010, reaching $757.0 million in 2010
  • Technology was the largest single category at $4.0 million in 2005, due primarily to the technology-savvy early adopters of user-generated media
  • Auto was the second largest marketing category, generating $3.9 million in 2005, as car manufacturers utilized user-generated media to market their higher-end models to the "influential" demographic
  • The media industry spent $3.2 million to advertise in user-generated media in 2005, as the industry tried to capitalize on its advanced knowledge of the consumer shift away from traditional media

From a broader alternative media perspective, concludes the report, continued audience fragmentation, the perceived ineffectiveness of traditional advertising, and the desire to reach elusive younger markets are leading more marketers to take a serious look at new media opportunities. In the user-generated media markets, more advertisers are seeing the potential to reach younger demographics, as well as the lucrative influential markets, with media that tend to be highly engaging. On the downside, user-generated media have a host of technology and measurement issues that need to be resolved before these media can reach their full potential.


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Study: Blogs, podcasts, RSS fastest growing alt media segments

Study: Blogs, podcasts, RSS fastest growing alt media segments

Podcast advertising is expected to be larger than blog advertising by 2010, according to a report released yesterday by PQ Media. Spending in the blog segment will reach a little more than $300.4 million by 2010, while podcast spending will reach $327 million, the report predicts. Overall, ad spending on blogs, podcasts, and RSS has jumped 198.4% to $20.4 million in 2005 and is expected to grow another 144.9% to $49.8 million in 2006, according to the report. However, a study from Forrester Research shows that only 1% of households regularly listen to podcasts and just 2% have sampled them at all, reports On the other hand, 25% of online consumers expressed interest in podcasts, perhaps pointing to the medium's growth potential.


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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

ABC Readies Non-Skippable Online Video Commercials

ABC Readies Non-Skippable Online Video Commercials

Blue-Chip Advertisers Buy Into Network's New Web Programming

NEW YORK ( -- ABC fleshed out details of its new online service of free programming today, outlining exactly how advertising will be embedded in broadcast video versions of its TV programming. As first reported by Advertising Age on Feb. 9, the Walt Disney Co. network will become the first broadcast network to offer a raft of top entertainment shows online for free.
The service -- which will also carry content from three of the company's cable channels, the Disney Channel, ABC Family and Soapnet -- will launch April 30 and is backed by a slew of blue-chip advertisers including Procter & Gamble Co., Ford Motor Co., Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures. Other participants include AT&T, Cingular, Toyota and Unilever's Suave.

No ad-skipping
The advertisers surrounding online programming such as "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" won't necessarily be the same as those supporting the shows' run on the network. will make shows available the day after they air and consumers will be able to pause and move backward and forward between portions of the show, but won't be able to fast-forward through ads.

"These two announcements represent the next steps in our comprehensive, digital media multiplatform business initiative," said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney-ABC Television Group. "In the future, consumers will rely more and more on strong brands to help them navigate the digital world, and we have some of the strongest brands in entertainment. Our digital media efforts will help us strengthen our connection with our consumers. Stay tuned ... because this is just the beginning."

'Network of the future'
At an investor conference in March, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger said the new Web site was part of its plan to create "the network of the future." Making the shows more widely available is expected to help rather than hinder viewership of the traditional broadcast, and for those advertisers involved in product placement deals with the shows, the Webcast will not only offer additional eyeballs but further "engagement." As a greater proportion of marketers' ad budgets are expected shift into digital media this upfront, ABC's move is a way of capturing more of those dollars and driving traffic to its other broadband video offerings, such as news programming.

Whether the move impacts Disney's deal with Apple remains to be seen. Customers of iTunes must pay $1.99 to watch shows on their computers or iPods, though ABC's Web site doesn't appear to make the shows available for portable devices. ABC and the other broadcast networks have been experimenting with different payment methods for their content to see what works. CBS, for example, offers "Survivor" online for 99 cents.

"Not everything has to be one business model. We want to find out what models work for what brands, what business models. We don't want to retrofit or shoehorn," Ms. Sweeney said.

No exclusivity for Apple
The broadcasters appear to be wary of letting Apple become the exclusive online vendor of their TV programming and have linked up with a variety of partners. CBS Corp.'s CBS and General Electric Co.'s NBC are working with Comcast to allow shows to run on the cable operators' video-on-demand service. CBS has also partnered with Yahoo to create a microsite for "60 Minutes" and Google Video for "CSI." NBC has indicated it is also considering using its own website to offer shows.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts this morning said he thought more models would only benefit other video on demand offerings. "If more consumers get used to using on demand, whether on a PC or TV, it's good for us.... The more video that streams in and out of homes the better ... Viewer controlled TV is a reality."
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Monday, April 10, 2006

Interactive ad opportunities available via Dish Network

Interactive ad opportunities available via Dish Network


Turner Advertising Group (TAG), the exclusive ad sales rep for EchoStar Communications' Dish Network, is offering interactive ad opportunities via Dish. Turner Media, the sister company of TAG, owns more than 100 channels including the Men's Channel and Healthy Living Channel. Of its 12.5 million subscribers, more than 11 million are interactive, the company says. Dish subscribers, using a button on their remotes when prompted by an onscreen icon during a commercial, can access long-form video about particular products, or be sent to a Web-like screen to find additional information.


TAG Pitches Interactivity

Multichannel News via NewsEdge Corporation :

Turner Media Group, which sells interactive advertising and owns a stable of transactional networks, last week for the first time conducted a series of upfront presentations for ad agencies and advertisers.

The company's ad sales arm, Turner Advertising Group, and its new president, Chris Kager, made stops in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to pitch the group's interactive ad platform to media buyers. TAG is the exclusive ad sales rep for EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish Network.

Kager will be based in New York for TAG, where he will be responsible for an estimated $250 million in media sales for the group.

TAG not only sells local avails on just over 100 networks that the satellite provider carries, it also offers interactive ad opportunities via Dish.

“Dish is the largest interactive-television platform in the world,” said Jodie McAfee, senior vice president of corporate development and marketing for Turner Media, which is not tied to Turner Broadcasting System Inc. “They've got 12.5 million subscribers, and over 11 million of those households are interactive. The next largest player in the space is [British Sky Broadcasting Group plc] in the U.K.”

Dish subscribers, using a button on their remotes when prompted by an on-screen icon during a commercial, can access long-form video on particular products, or be sent to a Web-like screen to find additional information, order a catalog or find the nearest product retailer.

Turner Media also owns a stable of networks with transactional capabilities, services such as The Men's Channel, Healthy Living Channel, Beauty & Fashion Channel, Resorts and Residents, iDrive and iShop TV.

Those networks are carried by Dish, and they have secured distribution with cable operators including Time Warner Cable, Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc. and Bright House Communications.

<<Multichannel News -- 04/06/06>>

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Abbott and Earvin 'Magic' Johnson Announce Partnership

Abbott and Earvin 'Magic' Johnson Announce Partnership

Health Disparities Among Minority Communities Continue to Rise

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., April 07, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott announced today it has entered into a partnership with Earvin "Magic" Johnson to address health disparities in minority communities through a multi-year, nationwide education effort. The partnership will create an opportunity to have meaningful dialogue to address health disparities among minorities, with a special emphasis on HIV prevention, testing, awareness and disease management.

Minority communities are currently disproportionately affected by certain disease states including: HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension. By 2010, one of every three people in the United States will identify themselves as a racial/ethnic minority.

"Minority communities are faced with challenging health obstacles as a result of social and cultural factors -- but we can change that," said Johnson. "I am thrilled to be teaming up with Abbott to make a difference and build awareness among vulnerable populations about health risks to which they may be socially disadvantaged, to share my personal story, and to have an open dialogue about important health facts that must not be overlooked. Above all though, I hope those at risk take advantage of community resources to help keep them and their loved ones healthy."

Positive Intervention Begins with Education

From the beginning of the epidemic, almost one million people have been diagnosed with HIV in the United States, and 40 percent of them are African-American. The rate of HIV diagnoses in African-American males is approximately 10 times the rate of Caucasians and almost three times the rate of Hispanics. Additionally, HIV disproportionately affects African-American women, with a diagnoses rate 23 times that of Caucasian women and is the number one cause of death among African-American women between the ages of 25 and 34.

Education and empowerment are two crucial factors to address health disparities in minority communities. Through this partnership, Johnson, along with the Magic Johnson Foundation, will join Abbott to create educational platforms in cities with a high prevalence of HIV infection. Johnson will share his inspirational story of living with HIV, and communities will have the opportunity to seek free, confidential HIV testing and counseling through testing events. Attendees also will have the opportunity to have their blood pressure, peak flow levels, and glucose levels checked -- these tests are often indicators of the onset and activity of hypertension, asthma, and diabetes. The 10-city tour kicks off April 10, in Chicago.

"Abbott is proud to initiate a long-term partnership with Mr. Johnson and the Magic Johnson Foundation. As a leader in the African-American community, he has made a positive impact on the health care and social issues affecting minority communities," said Jodi Devlin, vice president of marketing and sales, Specialty Pharmaceuticals, at Abbott. "Abbott is committed to providing solutions to today's pressing health care issues, and working together with the Magic Johnson Foundation was a natural fit. We look forward to partnering with Mr. Johnson to make a real difference in peoples' lives."

About the Magic Johnson Foundation

The Magic Johnson Foundation was established in 1991 as a single-disease organization that worked to raise funds for community-based organizations dealing with HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs. The Foundation has since responded to the growing need to address all aspects of our youth's lives by expanding its mission. This expanded mission emphasizes the Foundation's focus on supporting community-based organizations and development programs that serve the health, educational and social needs of those residing in minority communities.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture, and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 60,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott has been a leader in HIV/AIDS research since the early years of the epidemic. In 1985, the company developed the first licensed test to detect HIV antibodies in the blood and remains a leader in HIV diagnostics. Abbott retroviral and hepatitis tests are used to screen more than half of the world's donated blood supply.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at .

CONTACT: Jennifer Smoter, +1-847-938-8865, or Chris Bona, +1-847-938-5494,both of Abbott

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