America Online has started releasing data about its members' Web usage to AOL partner companies. The statistics represent AOL members' page views of Internet Web sites that get stored in caches behind AOL's firewall and therefore do not get counted by the log servers of the Web sites themselves. With its approximately 8 million members, AOL's hidden Web traffic statistics have long been suspected of greatly offsetting the number of ad impressions that Web sites try to measure.
IAB to release measurement guidelines
The Internet Advertising Bureau on June 12 will unveil a list of proposed Internet media measurement guidelines for comparing various sites' traffic and ad performance. The report is also expected to include recommendations concerning what things sites should measure and how they should report the data. Separately, a Web measurement initiative from the Coalition for Advertising Supported Information & Entertainment and the Advertising Research Foundation is stalled waiting for enough Web measurement companies to agree to participate.
Search engines unveil new features
Excite, via an alliance with AudioNet, later this month will unveil audio-enhanced ad banners. Energizer is the first advertiser to sign up for the new banners, which will feature the Energizer Bunny's drum beat. Rates are undisclosed. Separately, Yahoo! today unveils access to online trading services from Yahoo! Finance via three sponsors: Charles Schwab & Co.'s e.Schwab, E TRADE and Datek Securities' Datek Online.
Web ad spending in spotlight again
Get ready for the next round of Internet ad spending tallies. Cowles/Simba Information last week projected Net ad spending will reach $538 million this year, up from $324 million last year. This week, the Internet Advertising Bureau releases its first-quarter 1997 figure, a number that will be closely watched because the first months of the year were slower than expected for many Web sites.
TNT reorg propelled by client needs
Why did Modem Media take over two TN Technologies offices last week? Chalk it up to client needs. Modem, which TNT acquired last year, will manage TNT offices in New York and Hong Kong. AT&T Corp., Modem's biggest client, is also a client of TNT in Hong Kong and Foote, Cone & Belding in New York. "It didn't make sense to have that client split between brands," said Greg Blaine, TNT chairman-CEO. John Nardone, Modem's director of media and research services, was named managing director of Modem Media New York, succeeding John Adams, who left.
Netscape Communications Corp. introduces its Communicator browser suite June 11 with "The Great Internet Tune-up," a promotion on search engines to get users to click to download the software. . . . CNN and Oracle Corp. last week unveiled their version of a personalized Web news service, CNN Custom News (www. customnews.cnn.com). . . . The Internet Local Advertising and Commerce Association named Hal Logan, former president-CEO of Vicinity Corp., as its executive director. . . . E! Online today launches a spinoff site called Moviefinder.com that offers recommendations and info about finding movies. It will use Net Perceptions' technology to dynamically target users. . . . ZDNet launched Fluid News, an ad-driven news and information program that "pushes" content directly onto a user's desktop. . . . Prodigy Internet today launches Prodigy Internet Investor as a free personal finance service for its subscribers.