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INTERNET ADVERTISING MAY HIT BILLION DOLLAR MARK BY 2000
Published January 4, 1996
The Internet as a commercial medium is "both broad and narrow at the same time -- capable of reaching millions of people, but also able to target an audience more precisely than any other," writes Warren Wilson in the SEATTLE POST- INTELLIGENCER. Wilson, who notes that U.S. companies may hit the $1B mark in Web advertising by 2000, reports that a WebTrack Information Services survey estimates advertisers spent $12.4M on the Web in the fourth quarter of '95, with more than 175 sites seeking advertisers and more than 250 active advertisers. Netscape, Lycos, InfoSeek, Yahoo, Pathfinder and ESPNET SportsZone are the top Web ad sources. SPORTSZONE UNIQUE: Among those large internet advertising publishers, SportsZone "is notable in a couple of respects," writes Wilson. ESPN's internet site charges rates "higher than most" because it is "is one of few top publishers that are 'content driven,'" keeping users involved in the page longer. Rich LeFurgy, Advertising Dir at Starwave, producer of SportsZone, notes the average ESPNET browser stays 13 minutes. LeFurgy: "Our users are more involved in the content. ...We think our impressions are more valuable." Starwave charges $100,000 for a three-month "sponsorship" on SportsZone, compared with $30,000 on Time Warner's Pathfinder or $60,000 on Yahoo or Lycos. As for traffic, Starwave reports 930,000 visits per week on the SportsZone site, with an estimated 95% of the visitors male. LeFurgy: "That's just unheard of in traditional media." WHO'S DOING THE ADVERTISING? The WebTrack survey reports that 2/3 of those advertising on the Internet are computer companies, service or telecommunications companies. But Wilson writes, "More and more firms ... are signing up." ESPNET features ads from companies such as Pizza Hut, Levi Strauss and AT&T (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 1/3).