Denver Op Hails a Taxi to Lure Ads10/22/2000 8:00 PM Eastern
Mytvtaxi.com, a Web site launched last May by AT&T Broadband in Denver to promote cable-network programming, has attracted more than a carload of paying customers, backers said.
The local system bundles ad space on the site with airtime on cable networks, providing clients with free listings under its "Great Local Deals" section, but charging for banner ads, system vice president and general manager Pat Ivers said last Thursday.
The 500,000-subscriber system has booked 175 local clients for the site so far, according to mytvtaxi.com developers, Lundwall Creative Inc. president Jerry Lundwall and content director Peggy Conger.
AT&T plans fourth-quarter mytvtaxi.com launches in Des Moines, Iowa; St. Louis and
Columbia, Mo.; and Altoona-State College, Pa. Cable One Inc. is also in discussions about using the Web site in several markets, Conger said.
Mytvtaxi.com offers searchable cable and broadcast-television program listings, as well as reviews, premium channel and pay-per-view movie previews plus games, news and other features.
Visitors to the home page can click on "Today's Schedule," "Today's Top Picks" and "Games & Contests," as well as links to network and advertiser Web sites or promotions like TBS Superstation's "Be Like Bond Sweepstakes," Conger noted.
The content is intended to "bring people back again and again," she said.
A dozen clients, mostly in the automotive sector, feature printable electronic-coupon ("e-coupon") offers. Consumers also can click to see commercials for the few clients that take advantage of that capability. One such client is Lenny's Supreme Ski & Golf.
In addition to about 45 car dealerships, the site has attracted ads from 12 other business categories, ranging from entertainment and travel to real estate.
Ivers said there are no plans to test electronic commerce over mytvtaxi.com, but clients can link to their own sites for that capability.
Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln division bought space last May to show a 360-degree view of a new car, but AT&T won't pursue national business until mytvtaxi.com has greater distribution, Ivers added.
To raise consumer awareness, AT&T has employed cross-channel promotional spots and in-store signage touting mytvtaxi.com. Lundwall said usage data thus far-with 250,000 page views and 75,000 visitor sessions projected for October-has been encouraging.
The site also posts a form through which AT & T's subscribers can upgrade their service, ordering premium channels, digital cable or local phone service.
"Some have [taken advantage of that], but not many yet," Ivers said.
Consultants on mytvtaxi include Stewart Schley, who like Conger is a formerCable Worldstaffer; Jim Birschbach, who was vice president of ad sales at Tele-Communications Inc. (now AT&T Broadband); and public-relations consultant Jim Carlson, previously at Jones Intercable.