Akamai Signs Engage, Hitplay Media to Streaming Ad Deal

Content delivery firm Akamai unveiled deals this week with Engage and Hitplay Media to use its technology for delivering targeted, streaming media ads.

MediaPlus Advertising, the first offering in Akamai’s forthcoming MediaPlus suite of products, will allow users of the Cambridge, Mass.-based firm’s streaming services to integrate their own targeted, rich media ads into Webcasts.

Through the agreements, Hitplay Media — an ASP offering targeted streaming video technology — and beleaguered ad serving and technology firm Engage will allow publishers hosting Webcasts to develop streaming rich media revenue streams.

“Engage and Akamai have been working together to develop innovative solutions that will make targeted, streaming advertising a possibility for marketers and publishers,” said Mike Baker, executive vice president of corporate development for Engage. “We’re extremely happy to be a part of Akamai’s MediaPlus program, which will continue to further our relationship and our efforts to enhance the delivery of interactive ads and marketing campaigns across the Web.”

Akamai said the MediaPlus product is designed to address customer needs for both direct revenue-generating capabilities and content management tools to sustain and grow their streaming media activities.

“As more sophisticated business models emerge from content providers, revenue-enabling services become critical to the success of these initiatives,” said Akamai president Paul Sagan. “Akamai is responding to the need for customers to capitalize on their streaming investments … by combining technology from leading application providers with Akamai’s world-class delivery network.”

According to Akamai executives, the increase in consumer broadband has helped enhance streaming’s reputation n the eyes of advertisers and media buyers, and with its introduction of MediaPlus Advertising, the company said it’s addressing what it perceives as a growing need for ad insertion services for the Web.

Akamai will also benefit from Hitplay and Engage’s offering the product — and Akamai’s content delivery services — to their clients, while Engage and Hitplay will be able to handle ad serving for Akamai’s MediaPlus customers. Current companies using MediaPlus Advertising include iClips and Studionext.

But Engage is no doubt hoping that the news isn’t too late: the company Tuesday reported a devastatingly poor earnings outlook, and said that it expects to cut more jobs.

For it’s part, Akamai said it is looking to incorporate other companies’ ad insertion technologies into its network, but did not disclose details on deals in the works.

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