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Ultramercial Granted a US Patent for its Attention-for-Access Internet Advertising Model
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Los Angeles, CA -- Ultramercial LLC has been granted US Patent 7,346,545 describing their Attention-for-Access Internet advertising model and ad unit introduced in 2002. Under the model, online viewers can access copyrighted video, music, text or online services for free by requesting and completing an interactive ad. The viewer's attention acts as "payment" in a value exchange that gives the viewer incentive to complete the ad and repositions the advertiser as the provider, rather than the interrupter that viewers often skip, block or ignore.
"Ultramercial is a socially-engineered value exchange," said Dana Jones, Ultramercial's founder, who filed the original patent application in May 2000. "By making the value of the ad explicit and honest, we win the respect of the viewer. 80% finish the ad they start, nearly 5% click-through for more information about the underlying advertisers, and the average viewer spends more than a minute engaging with the sponsor."
"This patent award acknowledges the powerful efficiencies our business model brings to online publishers and advertisers," Jones continued, "With 5-1/2 years in the marketplace we’ve proven that viewers prefer a user-initiated ad format over other intrusive forms of advertising. And with it comes our guaranteed engagement for the sponsor."
Some successful examples of Ultramercial’s business model include its Site Pass, first utilized at Salon.com, The Economist and with Time Magazine’s Person-of-the-Year; sponsored WiFi access at major hotels, cafes and airports like Denver International; Virgin Mobile’s Sugar Mama program where users "earn" free airtime minutes by engaging with sponsors in a two-way format that provides valuable viewer feedback.
The company intends to license the patent to content providers having difficulty monetizing their assets online, such as traditional print and broadcast companies and social networking sites.
"We believe the newspaper and television industry can re-invent themselves with this model," stated Paul Grusche, Ultramercial's COO. "We bring the double-truck ad online in a full-screen format along with guaranteed interactivity and accountability for newspapers. This same format is a natural progression for video content, providing an accountable two-way experience that has been lacking in broadcast and in pre-rolls online," Grusche added.
"Our model can monetize the premium services that social networking sites offer, as well," said Grusche. "We offer a strong financial engine packaged within a refreshingly honest user experience."
About Ultramercial, LLC
Ultramercial, LLC markets its patented business model and ad unit that grants Internet users free access to premium content after choosing to engage with its full-screen commercials. Ultramercial, LLC is privately held, headquartered in Palos Verdes Estates, California with offices serving Los Angeles, New York and Detroit. The company maintains contracts with a network of online publishers and advertisers. Information is available at http://www.ultramercial.com. Ultramercial is a registered trademark of Ultramercial, LLC. Ultramercial's business model is protected by US Patent 7,346,545.
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