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Coming to a TiVo near you: AtomFilms

The online entertainment company strikes a deal with digital video recorder company TiVo to provide films and animation for TiVo's weekly interactive TV show.

Online entertainment company AtomFilms has struck a deal with digital video recorder company TiVo to provide films and animation for TiVo's weekly interactive TV show.

Under the deal, signed Tuesday, AtomFilms says it will provide its titles for "TiVo Takes," a TV program produced for customers who use TiVo's personal digital video recorder.

The recorder lets people automatically record shows without having to set a timer or use a video tape. It includes programming and shows exclusively for the service.

Forrester Research projects that sales of digital video recorders will jump in the coming years, hitting 53 million by 2005. However, analysts say success stories won't come easily, as entertainment companies fight for consumer attention in the emerging film and animation market.

Jarvis Mak, an Internet analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings, said he thinks the deal is a good move for AtomFilms.

"I don't know if the effects will be as immediately apparent," he said. Mainstream television is "definitely a way to get your content distributed...It has a much higher reach" than the Internet.

Mak said that broadcasting content through TiVo's service will give AtomFilms a powerful, new outlet to reach consumers, rather than relying on people to find its Web site. He said that since the average Web surfer visits only 10 sites a month, the company must not only compete within its sector but also with big Internet companies, especially portals, in trying to gain name recognition.

AtomFilms, which was recently acquired by Macromedia's Shockwave, also announced on Tuesday syndications deals with In Demand and Cisneros Television Group to distribute titles from AtomFilms' catalog of films and animation.

"AtomFilms has always been committed to promoting short-form entertainment to a variety of channels--our content is available on the Internet, on cable TV, on airlines and handhelds, to name a few," an AtomFilms representative wrote in an e-mail.