COMPUSERVE TURNS TO CPMS

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Compuserve is the latest online service to move to cost-per-thousand-based ad pricing, following a trend that has taken root on the World Wide Web.

By late June, the service will offer "a price model that looks at gross rating points and [is based on] CPMs and click-through data," said Regina Brady, interactive marketing manager.

CompuServe's current rates are based on screen layers within the service, with top layers costing $10,000 per month. Ads appear as hotlinks off menus or as banners in the Electronic Mall.

`ACKNOWLEDGED CURRENCY'

CompuServe joins its brethren America Online and Prodigy Services Co. in crafting a pricing structure marketers have come to expect on the Web.

Prodigy will start pitching marketers on CPM opportunities this summer.

"It's become the acknowledged currency," said Scott Schiller, VP-ad sales. "They buy on CPM because it's a measurement they know."

Prodigy currently charges $45,000 per month to rotate advertisers throughout the service. Other packages, such as an icon on a high-traffic page, run $10,000 per month.

America Online led the way to CPM pricing among online services, saying last month that it will charge $20 to $80 CPMs for channels on the service.

In all three cases, ads will link primarily to marketer Web sites, although specially created content is also an option.

The standard for such pricing has come from content providers like Time Inc.'s Money, which built an area on CompuServe to try out a "cost-per-click" model for financial advertisers.

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