RealTime IT News

AOL, Digital Courier Sign $12 Million Deal for Video Shopping

America Online and Videos Now, a division of Digital Courier Technologies Inc. (formerly DataMark Holding Inc.), signed a $12 million deal for the sale of videos on AOL and Digital Cities.

Under the three-year agreement, AOL will receive guaranteed payments of $12 million plus warrants to purchase up to $2 million in Digital Courier stock. In addition, AOL has the option to receive a greater equity stake in Digital Courier in exchange for additional carriage.

AOL members and other Web consumers will be able to choose from more than 100,000 video selections in dozens of organized movie categories, make their selections online, and have their new videos delivered directly to their homes.

Scheduled to launch in August, Videos Now will offer new releases, top sellers that are often hard to find or sold out in video stores, and film categories covering everything from foreign films to educational videos, instructional videos and children's selections. Videos Now will offer titles in all available formats, including VHS, Beta, Laserdisc, DVD and Divx.

"This is an exciting new partnership for Videos Now," said R.J. Pittman, chief executive officer of San Francisco-based Digital Courier Technologies. "We are committed to being the first and best choice for videos online, and our groundbreaking pact with AOL puts us in a unique position to achieve that goal."

Videos Now will be prominently positioned throughout the AOL service, including anchor tenant placements in AOL's Shopping, Entertainment and Families Channels, and promotional placement in the Sports, Lifestyles, Interests, Personal Finance, Health, Computing, Travel, Research & Learn, Influence and Games Channels. The agreement also includes easy access to Videos Now throughout Digital City sites on both AOL and the Web.

Digital Courier Technologies supplies businesses and major Web portals with online content and commerce products. Current content offerings include: WeatherLabs, an online weather information service, BooksNow, and WorldNow. The company has also launched netClearing, an electronic commerce service for Internet payment processing, clearing, and settlement.