SRDS-the traditional media industry's data collection giant-and Interactive Traffic-a tiny, yet quickly growing, new media company-are both looking to harness the opportunity to become the new "SRDS" of the interactive industry.
Standard Rate and Data Service-the giant collector of advertising data in traditional media-today is announcing an alliance with Hermosa Beach, Calif.-based Interactive Marketing Communications to publish the SRDS Interactive Advertising Source, a guidebook to advertising in new media. To be published quarterly at an annual subscription price of $249, the guide lists not only advertising rates of Internet sites, but will also include opportunities in CD-ROMs, kiosks, interactive television and online services.
"We're launching a printed product first because that's the tool the market uses most now," said Edward Padine, marketing director at SRDS, which offers publication data on CD-ROM and will soon open a Web site. "We've found that many media planners don't have access to CD-ROMs or to the Internet, so creating a guide online might still be a bit premature."
SRDS will market the resource book in conjunction with Interactive Marketing Communications, which sells advertising for a number of Web sites, including Yahoo, as well as plans a number of interactive conferences. Marketing efforts will focus on traditional circulation efforts including direct mail, telephone marketing and online advertising.
Interactive Traffic, a New York-based company formed just seven months ago, is today relaunching its Traffic Resource at http://www.i-traffic.com designed to help media planners match advertisers with sponsorable online sites.
Sponsorable sites can list themselves on the online resource for free or pay up to $500 per quarter for an enhanaced listing.
"The time for collecting data and information is right," said Scott Heiferman, founder of Interactive Traffic. "Six months ago media planners weren't too keen on interactive media. But now is when a product like this could be very useful to agencies."
Soon, the company will introduce its I-Traffic Index, a downloadable, proprietary analysis that computes-for a fee that's yet to be determined-a specific site's value for sponsors by factoring such variables as how a site's traffic is measured, placement and size of sponsorship banners, ad rates, as well as audits that may have been run.
"It's a logical thing for media planners to want an omnibus directory of [sponsorable] Web sites or new media advertising opportunities," said Wes Dubin, senior VP-electronic ventures at DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago. "Having online databases at our fingertips seems to be more useful than fighting over copies of resource books."
Similar to the struggle being fought by media measurement old-timers like Nielsen Media Research and newcomers like Streams Online, a debate to set a standard for collecting data from interactive media is emerging.
"A brand name is important for establishing trust, but interactive media are very entrepreneurial in nature," said Mr. Dubin. "If a young company were to come up with a better way to catalog, then I'm sure the industry would be just as apt to use that."
"We've been studying online media for almost a year now-which is the equivalent to about 10 Web years," said Mr. Heiferman, whose company also plans interactive media strategy for clients. "We'd obviously like to parlay our jump in interactive data collection and analysis into an industry standard."