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Ultramercial Provides Ads That Pay for Game Play

by Rainier on July 7, 2008 @ 8:53 a.m. PDT

For Internet users who hate to pay for content, Ultramercial, LLC has just the solution: let an advertiser pay your way in, after you trade 30-seconds of your attention for free access to online games.

“Online gamers see the advertiser in a fundamentally different light, as the provider, rather than the interrupter,” said Ultramercial’s CEO Dana Jones. “Presenting a choice to the viewer to start the ad, with an immediate direct benefit associated with completing the ad, is a game changer, a true paradigm shift.”

The company’s publicly-shared performance metrics show that online users of their format spent 79-seconds, on average, with each commercial, well beyond the 30-second minimum.

“Viewers drill down into the optional activities at the end of our ads,” said Paul Grusche, Ultramercial’s COO. “Sometimes these are games, such as the concentration card game Honda placed into one of its Ridgeline ads.”

“This level of engagement also translates into high click-through rates to the sponsors’ web sites,” added Grusche. “Our average click-through thus far in 2008 is 4.84%, far surpassing the industry average of about 0.3%.”

While Ultramercial’s format has been used to grant free game play online, the company has ways to provide free trial levels for non-browser games.

“We see our business model as an ideal way for monetizing rollouts of new games, by allowing a sponsor to underwrite limited access to the first few levels of a game, prior to purchase,” Jones said. “This is a great way for advertisers to reach young men 18 to 34, since game play has replaced TV as their primary entertainment medium.”

“Our format brings an honest, upfront proposition to users to either purchase their game now, or try a couple of levels free, thanks to the generosity of an advertiser,” added Jones. “Everyone wins.”

Ultramercial is currently licensing its business model and ad serving technology to other leading content partners across several channels including entertainment, financial news, mobile airtime minutes and Wi-Fi access.

Ultramercial’s newly patented business model and advertising format has provided free game play to Internet users at such popular gaming sites as, Real Networks’,,, and Lycos’ Gamesville.

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