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TBTF for 1995-06-30: Advertising and branding on the Web

Keith Dawson (dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com)
Fri, 30 Jun 1995 22:30:02 -0400

[Nothing from Edupage this time, their copy has been uncharacteris-
tically off target for TBTF for a few issues now.]

>>From the WSGR Weekly Recap:

CMG@Ventures has purchased exclusive rights to the Lycos Spider
Technology for cataloging Internet sites, from Carnegie Mellon
University, in exchange for an upfront fee. Lycos' developer, Dr.
Michael Mauldin, will receive a minority stake in a new company,
Lycos, Inc. The new company will continue to provide free access
to the Lycos service, but will offer advertising space and will
license key technology components.

[Lycos will be the second major Web search engine to go commercial.
The first was InfoSeek (an Atria customer). Yahoo is poised to make
the jump, needing only need somebody to make a credible offer.]

Playboy Enterprises, Inc. announced that it is
accepting advertisers on its WWW page, citing almost 1 million hits
per day; hyperlinks go for $30,000, customized pages for $50,000,
both for 3 month runs.

[Selling advertising space on hot Web pages has suddenly gotten to
be a very big deal. This has developed only in the last month or so.
HotWired was, or course, the first (how could they hold their head up
if they weren't?). InfoSeek now welcomes advertisers on its pages.
Netscape does too. Netscape's pricing structue is informative (don't
know absolute numbers, only the overall policy) -- like Playboy they
sell either a graphic banner (linked to your home page) and/or a
single custom page. They rotote the banner among their top 5 most
visited pages, for the top-dollar price. For a lower price it rotates
among the next most-visited grouping, and so on. The analogy to prime
space in print advertising is exact.

[Another related trend, even more recent, is graphical branding cam-
paigns on the Web. Last Sunday I saw for the first time logos from
Netscape and from InfoSeek on *others'* pages, linked back to the
branding company's home page. (Netscape's says "These pages optimized
for Netscape 1.1N"; InfoSeek's is a link to a free search.) The pat-
tern here is for the hot sites to offer branding links to lesser sites;
the payback for the little guys presumably is reflected glory. The big
pages get even more traffic out of the deal. I expect to see more vari-
ations in branding campaigns over the coming weeks, including quid-pro-
quo trades among smaller sites.]

TBTF alerts you 3 times a week to bellwethers in computer and communications
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email me at either address below.
Keith Dawson dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com dawson@atria.com
Layer of ash separates morning and evening milk.