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Technology

 April 23, 2001
AccuWeather Extends lead as Internet's Premier Weather Content Provider

 AccuWeather, the world's leading commercial weather forecasting company, announced today at the National Association of Broadcasters Show a host of new partnerships and technological advancements from its New Media Division that extend the company's position as the premier provider of weather-related content over a range of new media distribution channels.

To date, AccuWeather New Media is syndicating its content through licensing agreements with more than 1,200 Web sites and with an affiliate program, offering access to its content on AccuWeather.com to an additional 6,000 Web sites - creating the largest distribution network of weather information available on the Internet.

AccuWeather New Media currently supplies weather content for the Web sites of five of the top six news organizations including CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, FOX News, Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. That is only the beginning, according to

AccuWeather founder and president, Dr. Joel N. Myers, who founded AccuWeather in 1962 and which is now establishing itself as the leader in new media weather content.

"Our tremendous weather forecasting capabilities provides a clear and distinct advantage in providing a depth, breadth and accuracy of weather information unparalleled by any other organization in the world," Dr. Myers said. "Our commitment is to make this world-class content available in any format to meet any need in the new media marketplace to make AccuWeather the pervasive source of all things weather."

Key to the prominence of AccuWeather New Media is a three-decade commitment to providing traditional media with a distinctive competitive advantage and a means of differentiating their products in a crowded media space. This deep understanding of media has bled into a number of AccuWeather New Media relationships with key new media players.

"No other weather source in the world understands syndicated content and product differentiation as well as AccuWeather New Media and its parent AccuWeather," said Charlie Tillinghast, Business Development Manger for MSNBC.com. "AccuWeather New Media works as a partner, not as a competitor in building page views that translate into real revenue gains."

AccuWeather New Media has launched a number of groundbreaking initiatives, including:

Streaming Video Weather. In a world's first, AccuWeather New Media launched Streaming Video Weather, which enables consumers of Web sites, and soon wireless devices, to view weather content with television-style full sound and video over the Internet. The service, currently in use by Yahoo!(R)Weather (http://weather.yahoo.com) and Yahoo! Broadcast (http://broadcast.yahoo.com), delivers Streaming Video Weather to Web sites and wireless providers broadcast-quality weather forecast for 120 cities, plus storm reports, national and regional outlooks, sports weather and original programming from AccuWeather's expert broadcast meteorologists. "Yahoo! Weather consumers have access to comprehensive streaming weather information from AccuWeather.com," said Kourosh Karimkhany, senior producer, Yahoo! News and Weather. "Studies show that weather is one of the top reasons why people surf the Web. Not only can people access the information they need, but they can watch local forecasts and national outlooks from the convenience of their computer."

Next Generation Technology for Wireless. This month, AccuWeather New Media announced agreements with two leading providers of next generation wireless technology. With both Luxxon Corporation and its adaptive rich media System technology and GEO Interactive Media Group Ltd. and their Emblaze wireless solution, AccuWeather New Media will provide streaming video news updates to wireless devices such as Pocket PCs, PDAs or cellular phones over diverse networks including 2.5 and 3G. Content will include forecast for 101 U.S. cities and 15 international cities, breaking news and travel weather. "We see dynamic weather content as a pillar of demand for a new range of wireless devices, owned by a highly mobile consumer who needs immediate lifestyle information on the go," Dr. Myers noted. "Interest from wireless manufactures and enablers has been rabid for new streaming media technology, and AccuWeather New Media stands ready to fill this demand through a range of highly compelling informational services." At the same time, AccuWeather New Media has created the world's first advertising opportunity that embeds advertisements directly in the streaming media delivered to these new wireless devices. "We see this as an excellent opportunity to promote weather sensitive products and services through wireless devices down to individuals who are mostly likely to buy because of current weather conditions," added Dr. Myers.

Agreement with eSynch. A provider of media infrastructure delivery tools and services, eSynch was chosen for its private branding and asset management capability of video products. Under terms of the contract, eSynch will license its SiteStreamer product to build and provide interactive media players that enable any Web site to provide the enriched, compelling content that online users demand, like AccuWeather's New Media Video Weather.

Lightningcast Partnership. In partnership announced today at NAB with Lightningcast, Inc., a company that inserts audio and video commercials into streaming media, AccuWeather New Media will deliver localized, streaming weather forecasts to Internet users based on their ZIP code. The agreement enables advertisers to market their weather-sensitive products in streaming media to users targeted by individual ZIP code. For the first time in any Internet broadcast medium, listeners who register their ZIP codes can receive weather forecasts and related information specific to their location.

Sprint PCS and Motorola Agreements. Earlier this year, AccuWeather New Media announced exciting new relationships with Sprint PCS--the nation's largest digital wireless carrier serving more than 300 major metropolitan areas and 280 million people in 50 states, and Motorola, a global leader in providing integrated communications and embedded electronic solutions. Under the terms of the deals, AccuWeather New Media is providing weather content directly to Sprint PCS and Motorola users. The service provides highly mobile consumers the most timely and accurate weather information available, including AccuWeather's proprietary new 15-day forecasts, as well as zip code specific weather forecasts for the exact location of the users.

Spark Interactive Agreement. In a convergence of new media, AccuWeather New Media entered into an agreement with Spark Interactive, Corporation, a leading provider of digital content distribution and aggregation, that will allow travelers at hotels nationwide to receive on-demand video weather content directly over a hotel's in-room TV. Because the content is specific to the exact locations, travelers will be able to receive weather forecasts for their precise location without wading through the live broadcasts of 24-hour weather networks. "This represent a true convergence of Web, satellite and on-demand technology that serves as a blueprint for anytime, anywhere accessing of weather-related information," Dr. Myers said.