Cox Media Offers On-Demand Advertising Reach to More Than One Million Digital Cable Customers
Pioneering FreeZone Soon Available in Nine Cox Markets
ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 18, 2005--Cox Media today announced the expansion of FreeZone, it's pioneering ad-supported on-demand service, to an additional eight Cox markets. Launched in San Diego in July 2002, FreeZone was the first-ever application of on-demand video technology to long form advertising and ad-supported commercial content. Early advertisers included Coca Cola, BMW, Volvo and Best Buy who seized the opportunity to experiment with message delivery in the interactive digital video environment.
FreeZone will soon be available in Cox's Orange County Calif., Las Vegas, Nev., New Orleans, La., Oklahoma City, Okla., Omaha, Neb.; Hampton Roads, Va.; Connecticut; and Rhode Island markets, as well as San Diego, Calif. where the service was first launched. All together, FreeZone will be available to more than one million Cox Digital Cable households. The availability of FreeZone in these markets coincides with Cox's continuing development of its Entertainment On Demand service to these same markets.
"We are thrilled to offer FreeZone to marketers in a larger portion of our footprint," said Billy Farina, senior vice president of advertising for Cox Media, the advertising arm of Cox Communications. "With reach to over one million customers across nine markets, FreeZone offers national advertisers a powerful new option for engaging interested viewers with in-depth brand messages and information." Because FreeZone is on-demand, advertisers can convey messages of any length and have the ability to create deeper relationships with customers and prospects that move them closer to a brand transaction.
Customers access FreeZone through Cox's Entertainment on Demand (EOD) welcome screen. FreeZone is listed along with other categories of Entertainment On Demand programming including movies; subscription video on demand (SVOD) including HBO, Cinemax and Starz! as well as other content. Selection of FreeZone from the EOD screen takes users to a FreeZone screen which lists commercial long-form content that may be viewed. Cox Media promotes FreeZone and its featured content in its own advertising and marketing efforts. Additionally, Cox promotes Entertainment on Demand via advertising of their movies and subscription video on demand offerings.
Early results with the pilot of FreeZone in San Diego were encouraging for both Cox Media and for their clients. "In the pilot, we found that consumers will choose to watch long-form advertising in an on-demand environment," said Dianne Earley, Cox Media's vice president of national sales. "About half of our digital cable subscribers in San Diego accessed FreeZone during the pilot period, and each unique viewer spent approximately 25.5 minutes per week viewing advertiser content."
Detailed reports give advertisers key information to gauge the effectiveness of their marketing efforts on FreeZone. Cox Media provides advertisers with figures on total views per video, unique households viewing per video, average time spent viewing per video, and percent of EOD-enabled households viewing per video. Reports are delivered to advertisers weekly, monthly and/or cumulatively across the life of the campaign - based on the advertisers' desired frequency. The data in all reports is anonymous and reported in aggregate to protect customer privacy.
"FreeZone is pure 'pull marketing,' with users choosing to access information on products and services in which they have an interest," said Earley. "FreeZone enables in-depth brand storytelling and facilitates brand relationships with viewers through interactivity." The on-demand platform is a complementary medium which opens the door to compelling new marketing techniques and integrated campaigns that actively engage customers and drive them closer to the point of purchase. "Cox Media is uniquely positioned to offer advertisers an on-demand advertising platform that powerfully supplements the traditional television spot advertising approach. In Cox markets, Cox is the only provider offering video on demand television advertising."
About Cox Media
Cox Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Communications Inc., is one of the country's largest cable television advertising sales organizations, reaching more than eight million subscribers. The first to commercially deploy digital program insertion and on-demand advertising, Cox Media uses advanced research and media planning, customized promotions and state of the art commercial production to help businesses connect with their audiences. From broad reach on highly rated programs to laser-sharp targeting of specific audiences, Cox Media provides more choice, better value and smarter advertising solutions to its clients. More information on Cox Media can be found on the Internet at www.coxmedia.com.
About Cox Communications
Cox Communications Inc., a FORTUNE 500 company, is a multi-service broadband communications company with approximately 6.6 million total customers, including approximately 6.3 million basic cable subscribers. The nation's third-largest cable television provider, Cox offers both analog cable television under the Cox Cable brand as well as advanced digital video service under the Cox Digital Cable brand. Cox provides an array of other communications and entertainment services, including local and long-distance telephone under the Cox Digital Telephone brand, high-speed Internet access under the Cox High Speed Internet brand, and commercial voice and data services via Cox Business Services. Local cable advertising, promotional opportunities and production services are sold under the Cox Media brand. Cox is an investor in programming networks including Discovery Channel. More information about Cox Communications can be accessed on the Internet at www.cox.com.
Cox Communications Inc.