iVillage, iChat link

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Content company iVillage and chat technology company iChat have formed a 50-50 joint venture to launch the ChatVillage Network during the first quarter of 1997. The network will let site visitors create and lead their own chat rooms and will also let advertisers target them through direct-to-consumer tracking technologies. The network will point to and involve iVillage's parenting and family media brands - which include About Work, Parent Soup, and Vices & Virtues - but will also partner with at least two other media companies to address topics including sports, music, and senior interests.

Ads will sell for a $40-plus cost per thousand impressions. Robert Levitan, senior VP-content development at iVillage, could not be reached for comment on Friday, but other sources at iVillage said charter sponsors are likely to include those already working with Parent Soup, such as Polaroid, MGM and Fisher-Price, and About Work, such as IBM Corp., UPS and Chase Manhattan Bank.

Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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