Barry Soicher: Doling out perks for watching ads

Barry Soicher, 43, believes deeply in TiVo, the small box you attach to your television to record shows and watch them later, without advertising. He is also CEO, president and co-founder of AdPerk, an Internet-based advertising company.

“I love advertisers and advertising because we’re all consumers,” Soicher said, “but it’s about making the connection.”

Soicher’s premise is simple: Let consumers choose what advertising to watch, and when, and then give them something for their time and attention. In the case of AdPerk, consumers choose short advertising videos to watch online in exchange for free issues of Dwell magazine.

“We let the user choose what to watch, when to watch, and know there isa clear benefit,” Soicher said. “We give consumers another choice: you can pay with your time or you can pay with your money, or both.”

Since partnering with AdPerk a month ago, Dwell has reported a 20 percent increase in subscribers. And according to Soicher, consumers tell AdPerk that if additional magazines participated, they would continue to watch advertising videos.

Unlike television, the consumer can have the content they want without getting interrupted, said Soicher. It’s a good deal for the advertiser, too, he added. Not only can a company show longer-form advertisements and get information on the number of viewers and the ZIP codes in which they are viewed, but when consumers get their free magazine issues, they often see print ads from the same companies — creating a high rate of repeat impressions.

Videos are as long as two minutes, and the math AdPerk uses is simple: one minute of ad view-time equals one magazine issue.

According to Soicher, 80 percent of people who begin watching an ad finish, and confirm that they’ve watched by entering a word within 30 seconds of the ad’s completion.

“We value you and your time, and we respect you,” Soicher said.

Making the connect seems to have worked with consumers, and it has definitely worked with Soicher’s family. One of his sons, Henry, 7, recently told Soicher he wanted to start KidPerk.

AdPerk launched its first product, free issues of Dwell, a month ago, and is about to announce a similar partnership with Popular Science. AdPerk has six employees.

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