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RealTime IT News

Digital Courier Acquires Video E-Commerce Firm

Digital Courier Technologies Inc. said that it has agreed to acquire Video Direct Corp. and its marketing, promotional and customer service affiliate, Total Marketing Services.

Video Direct is an Internet and direct response marketer of special interest videos. The acquisition is expected to close by late January. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Video Direct's 13,000 title database of videos in dozens of categories from fitness, health and personal growth, to travel, sports, home improvement and cooking, will be offered exclusively through the Videos Now Web site, beginning early next year.

"Because of the searchability of the Internet and the fact that an overwhelming majority of Internet users are information seekers, the special interest and instructional genres of videos are in tremendous demand," said R.J. Pittman, CEO of Digital Courier. "The addition of these categories will be a tremendous enhancement to Videos Now and serve to further differentiate it from our competitors."

In addition to the proprietary product database, Videos Now will acquire Video Direct's 6,000-plus independent affiliates, 60,000-plus customers (including hundreds of schools and libraries), 100,000-plus affiliate prospects, and several hundred exclusive product licenses.

Videos Now also will expand Video Direct's offline direct response strategies to targeted customer groups to increase revenues and promotion of Videos Now.

"We are extremely excited about the opportunities in front of us because of DCTI's technical capabilities," said Peter Heumiller, president of Video Direct. "We were approached by several online video retailers but felt that DCTI was best equipped to dramatically expand our successful affiliate and virtual storefront programs."

Videos Now, which debuted in November of this year on AOL, and Digital City, offers one of the world's largest Internet destinations for buying VHS and DVD movies.

DCTI recently said that its online book and video stores will begin linking its customer communities to each other. The company also said it plans to add more than 200,000 music titles to its Videos Now Web site, beginning in early 1999 with movie soundtracks offered exclusively through the Videos Now Smart Shopper automated service.

Digital Courier Technologies supplies businesses and Web portals with e- commerce, payment processing and content delivery software. Its netClearing division offers secure credit card and payments processing services and technology on the Internet.