INTERACTIVE: POINTCAST BEEFS UP ITS ADVERTISER ROSTER

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Pointcast has added several new advertisers as it prepares to extend its push information network to all Web publishers next month.

The company, which delivers news and information to computer screen savers, signed three first-time advertisers to contracts running through yearend: Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and Fujitsu Computer Products of America.

Five existing advertisers-Fidelity Investments, PCFN, MCI Communications Corp., Toshiba America and IBM Corp.-also signed contracts through yearend.

PointCast national ads range in price from $28 to $39 per thousand "deliveries" (the number of times an ad is played on the PointCast screen saver). Ads appear as animations that link to an advertiser Web site.

4,000 TO PUSH CONNECTIONS

PointCast (www.pointcast.com) next month will formally launch Connections, which allows any Web site to push information to PointCast users. More than 4,000 sites have signed on, said Anna Zornosa, senior VP-sales and affiliate development.

PointCast critics say that while many people have downloaded the software to run the service, far fewer actually use it.

PointCast doesn't say how many downloads it has had, but said its advertising rate base for the second quarter is 1.2 million unique viewers per month. (PointCast users must register for the free service.)

By comparison, ESPN Sports

Zone reported more than 2 million visits during its three days of National Football League draft coverage last month.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations' ABVS Interactive will conduct PointCast's first audit this quarter.

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