Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) is to unveil FASTMedia, a new product that it bills as the first end-to-end, search-based business platform for media and entertainment companies.
Developed in partnership with several dozen top media companies from diverse markets – broadcasting, newspapers, publishing, cable, and portals – FASTMedia provides media companies with a platform to showcase their content, serve their customer, partner and employee communities, protect their brands, and monetize their assets, Fast will claim.
The company is spinning the release as a way for media companies to use search technology as a way to take back control of their online business initiatives through better management of their content and providing them with an ability to squeeze more profitable sales interaction with their websites.
As such FAST bills FASTMedia as a business transformation platform rather than a multimedia search tool.
FASTMedia is changing the game in the media marketplace, said John Lervik, CEO and co-founder of Oslo, Norway-based FAST. There are already dozens of media companies using elements of this platform to develop profitable new business models, take better advantage of their media assets, introduce new services and tighten their customer relationships. The FASTMedia platform delivers innovation at the next level by providing an end-to-end business platform developed with media companies to serve their specific needs.
FASTMedia comprises a set of components based on the FAST ESP and the FAST Adaptive Information Warehouse (AIW), the firm said. It includes the recently announced FAST AdMomentum, claimed to be the industry’s most robust and flexible private label contextual advertising platform; FAST Multimedia Miner, for personalization of web content; and FAST Featured Content for search-driven content merchandizing.
It also includes FAST Unity for federated content and search-driven portals, and finally the FAST MSP, which brings targeted and personalized content and advertising to mobile devices.
FAST said its Media Network is gaining a strong foothold among online media firms; and claims it is even outstripping Yahoo! in terms of search traffic being generated.
At the current rate of growth, Perry Solomon, vice president and general manager of FAST’s Media Solutions Group, confidently expects searches in the FAST Media Network to exceed Google searches in two years.
That will represent a profound shift in the market.
The aggregate volume of search traffic numbers we’re seeing across our FAST media company base will overtake search engines like Google. FASTMedia also helps them to generate more profitable use of that traffic by connecting people to the content and products they really need.
While FASTMedia is a newly launched product, it is already catching the attention of several FAST customers.
Boston.com, the website operation of the Boston Globe news firm, is using FAST’s technology to provide differentiated local search to its online readership. Boston.com uses FAST to present search results from its own content alongside other externally defined web sources as well.
Meanwhile Conchango’s Media and Entertainment division is also tapping the technology to help its media customers provide alternative search strategies to Google’s ubiquitious Internet search engine.
Media firms have finally wised up to the idea of leveraging search to better focus their online businesses by connecting more closely with the needs of their consumers. However many have initially turned to third-party advertising networks and search engine providers – which of course has meant sharing customers and revenue. This reliance has also weakened the relationships that media firms are trying to bond with online audiences. Many search queries today increasingly bypass traditional Internet search engines, with users preferring to go directly to their preferred information websites sites or e-tailers and starting their searches from those sources.
Hence the addition of FAST’s AdMomentum product in its FASTMedia platform is key; since it allows online publishers to once again assume full control over their advertising strategies and relationships to serve up only the most appropriate site-specific content, ads and product offers to a well-defined and understood community of online users.