DriverTV is an automotive video-on-demand and advertising platform that recently made its debut on Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox, featuring high-definition videos of the latest vehicles from General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group.
Had guaranteed views
Since its debut in November 2005, the New York company has guaranteed an undisclosed number of views over a 12-month period to its automaker clients and offered make-goods if those tallies weren't met, said CEO Jan Renner. The annual fee ranges from $60,000 to $100,000 per model and partly pays for DriverTV to produce high definition videos. Now automakers will pay based on exactly how many consumers view their ads, within reason.
"We realize the car companies can't pay endlessly" for cost per views, so DriverTV works with them along with their media and interactive agencies on details of the deals, he added.
Mr. Renner said he had planned to move to a cost-per-view model from the start, but realized carmakers needed to see how well DriverTV reached digital cable subscribers first. "We're hoping we can charge more each year, but not until car companies are able to see the value in it."
Rates for 2007 have risen only modestly, partly because they now include the website, drivertv.com, which went live late last year, he said.
DriverTV creates the three-minute videos for automakers that run on all of its outlets, which include more than 20 million digital-cable TV subscribers of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Insight, as well as in-room viewers on Liberty Media's On Command Hotel Network and DriverTV's first broadband website, driverTV.com.
DriverTV is in discussions with several potential mobile partners to bring the service to cellphones, Mr. Renner said. The entire catalog of 150-plus videos of different vehicles is being translated to Spanish and are expected to be offered as an option in some markets by DriverTV's current cable TV network partners.
DriverTV has signed four new carmakers as clients: BMW, Porsche, Volvo and Suzuki. They join a roster of 30-plus auto brands, including all eight from General Motors Corp.'s stable and all three of Chrysler Group's, as well as Toyota, Volkswagen and Audi.