Synacor Moves to Make Premium Web Content 'Click’

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Internet-content aggregator Synacor Corp. has developed its first formal marketing campaign, designed to help customer-service representatives learn more about Web-based premium services.

The new marketing campaign, themed “We Make Your Life Click,” is supported by a host of elements. Synacor director of marketing Patty Hirsh said affiliates will receive a kit for launching new portals, including promotional posters for call centers; customer mailing materials, in-house marketing support pieces; and training documents for staff members.

Synacor and its partners will also place ads in local newspapers to drive awareness of new portal-service offerings.

The materials are designed with dual functionality in mind, said Hirsch: to guide clients on developing and marketing their Web portal brands, while helping employees understand the content provider’s brand guidelines.

Hirsh cited Jupiter- Research data predicting there will be 200 million broadband users around the world by year-end 2007. The majority of them are the early adopters, drawn to the product’s speed.

Other statistics show that 37% of broadband users regularly view video via high-speed connections, she said.

Those trends, in Hirsch’s view, demonstrate that it’s time for a second wave of revenue growth, powered by the sale of value-added services.

Synacor helps broadband providers add such premium services to their Web home pages. Content provided through Synacor includes free and premium services from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Musicnet, Cinemanow, CNN.com, The New York Times, Fox Sports, ESPN and The Weather Channel, among others.

Current clients include Adelphia Communications Inc., Charter Communications Inc., EarthLink, Grande Communications Inc., RCN Corp., and WideOpenWest LLC. The company said it has also signed deals with Cox Communications Inc., Alltel Corp. and CenturyTel Inc.

According to data gleaned from current Synacor customers, when customer-service representatives offer high-speed data connectivity with a premium add-on, 80% of customers subscribe to the premium, Hirsh said. Only 4% of customers churn out of the service within a year, according to these client reports.

Premium content access is currently priced by clients at $4.99 to $10.99, she added.

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