Primedia Joins VOD Party

Comcast is wasting no time as it looks to bring in new
revenues from its investment in digital cable systems and specialty publisher Primedia has added video-on-demand as another distribution arm for its advertisers. The cable giant is about to launch new VOD products in its Philadelphia market in
conjunction with Primedia .

The new content has the potential to reach about 1.2 million customers
whose cable systems are upgraded for digital video downloads.

The arrangement is the first VOD deal for the New York-based Primedia,
which plans to provide Comcast’s digital cable subscribers with branded
video programming from Primedia’s “Video Magazine Rack.” The initial offers
will include content built from Primedia’s stable of specialty magazines
such as Motor Trend, Specialty Cars, Parenting Basics,
On The Job and TeenNews.

The aim is to widen the distribution of the magazine content and expand
the reach of Primedia advertisers. In an environment in which consumers are
increasingly empowered to skip past or close down commercial messaging,
ad-supported content players are seeking more creative ways of reaching
consumers with content and advertising; on-demand channels like that created
by the Comcast/Primedia partnership is one example of such an effort.

Before Comcast completed its
merger with AT&T Broadband to became the nation’s largest cable provider
with 21.4 million subscribers, it had upgraded close to 25 percent of its
own cable subscriber base of about 8.5 million to digital cable. Since the
merger, however, Comcast is now undertaking to the upgrade AT&T Broadband
systems.

Primedia also said it would promote the video-on-demand arrangement in
its own print publications, television programming, Web sites and live
events. The initial launch of the “Video Mags”, slated for January, is to
consist of eight videos consisting of 40 hours of content, Primedia said.

Tara Maitra, senior VP of Primedia Digital Video, said the arrangement is
an extension of the company’s print franchises, which it has already
extended to video programming. The VOD arrangement with Comcast gives
Primedia another distribution deal to offer advertisers.

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