Making a Marc
"We've been the pioneers in digital watermarking since the early '90s," says Davis, "It should fundamentally alter the balance of the Internet and printed publications."
In 1997, Wired first reported on Digimarc's watermarking in conjunction with a feature about copyrighting images online. Several years later and with expectations to reach more than a dozen magazines this quarter, Digimarc reports that with more than 3.2 million pages added to the Internet daily, a technology that will eliminate wading through content in favor of direct connection not only pleases advertisers courting consumers, but also publications that set out to please advertisers. Davis assures that MediaBridge allows consumers to speed past clutter and competition. "If Ford wants you to go to their Web page to learn more about a car that you're hopefully going to buy," he suggests, "Ford doesn't want you to see Chevy's banner ad. The purpose of all magazine advertising is to create purchase opportunity. We've eliminated the laborious process getting from print to the Internet. … Now, there's more control of the brand," he surmises.
But Tricia Hill, production manager at ST Publications, Cincinnati, is a little skeptical. "I could certainly see how an evolution of this technology might be the future of digital advertising. It will undoubtedly find adherence with some people. However, I do not see many people choosing to use this technology immediately if they are able to use the mouse or keyboard," she admits.
But in an age when Neilson-Net Ratings' Market Fax Survey
estimates that 62 percent of consumers are inspired to go online based on print media, instant connection is crucial.
Davis claims that digital watermarking does not put a dent in production schedules or bottom lines. By providing digital ads with a specified URL, Digimarc's router handles the traffic, channeling online consumers to the site corresponding with the advertisement.