INTERACTIVE: POINTCAST OPENS DOORS TO COMMERCE PARTNERS

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Pointcast takes its first step into e-commerce today when its Business Network adds online trading and transaction-enabled sponsorships.

"We're aggregating all the services that a busy professional needs in one place," said PointCast's Anna Zornosa, senior VP ad sales and affiliate development PointCast (www.pointcast.com). The Preferred Online Broker program resides in PointCast's Companies Channel and allows users to pick a default broker from six companies: Charles Schwab & Co.; DLJ Direct; Fidelity Investment; Ameritrade; E-Trade; and Suretrade.com, the online brokerage service from Quick & Reilly.

A DOORWAY TO THE WEB

PointCast is also introducing EntryPoint, a doorway to the Web with sponsorships from Sabre Group's Travelocity, BarnesandNoble.com, CareerPath, computer auction site OnSale and map directory Zip2.

Mr. Zornosa said this group of sponsors would grow over time.

For PointCast to steer users to the Internet for purchases makes sense, said Josh Bernoff, principal analyst at Forrester Research, Cambridge, Mass., noting that users are likely to visit these sites anyway. "That combination of content, transactions and interactivity is what will engage people in this medium," said Mr. Bernoff, referring to a term Forrester calls "transactive" content.

To support its new transaction capabilities, which are a pre-cursor to a major e-commerce initiative launching in December, PointCast today releases a study by Austin, Texas, research company IntelliQuest that shows PointCast viewers are twice as likely to make online purchases as the average Internet user.

32% SHOPPED ONLINE RECENTLY

IntelliQuest found that 32% of PointCast viewers have purchased something on the Web in the last 30 days. That's compared to 16% of Internet users buying something on the Web in the same time frame, according to data culled from IntelliQuest's WWITS telephone survey of 3,500 U.S. households in July and August.

It also showed PointCast's demographic as an upper management crowd. The average household income was $109,000, with 90% of users having some college education or greater. The group also favors interactive media; 46% said they are reading newspapers less, since signing up for PointCast.

The IQ study took place Sept. 22-Oct. 14, with 2,399 PointCast users responding

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