Study: North American Web users rise to 92 mil
The number of Internet users in U.S. and Canada has hit 92 million, according to an April study by CommerceNet and Nielsen Media Research. Women consumers drove Web usage, with female online buyers increasing 80% from June '98 to April '99, growing to 10.6 million; male online buyers increased 22.5% to 17.4 million. The April telephone survey reached more than 7,200 people age 16 and older.
Geoworks to deliver ads to 'smart phones'
Geoworks Corp. (www.geoworks.com), a developer of software for so-called smart phones, launches a program June 22 allowing marketers to deliver incentive pitches to wireless phones and alphanumeric pagers. Its revenue will come from ad sales and transactions. Amazon.com in February bought a 7% stake in Geoworks.
Radio personality launches DrDrew.com
Today Dr. Drew Pinsky, who has an MTV program as well as "Loveline," a radio show for young people, hits the Web at DrDrew.com. The site is funded by Garage.com, an Internet venture-capital company founded by former Apple Computer "chief evangelist" Guy Kawasaki. It already has $75,000 in sponsorship fees from drug company Gynetics, which makes the day-after pill Preven Emergency Contraceptive Kit. The site, which is also about to sign a pharmaceutical partner, is selling monthly sponsorships for $25,000 and yearly sponsorships for $300,000. Rare Medium, New York, designed the site, which is planning a full-scale consumer launch Sept. 1.
Oxygen Media, Starbucks partner for products
Oxygen Media, New York, an Internet and cable TV-based women's network, and Starbucks Coffee Co. have partnered to sell Starbucks products and services on Oxygen's network of sites, including Oprah Online and Moms Online. Oxygen and Starbucks will develop co-branded content and promotions. In addition, Starbucks will promote Oxygen in its stores nationwide. Starbucks Chairman-CEO Howard Schultz said the partnership with Oxygen represents an early step in Starbucks' online strategy. Starbucks in April made a nearly $8 million investment in online community Talk City. Last week Oxygen secured $100 million from Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures investment company.
In other news
At the Cannes Advertising Festival June 22, Yahoo! will be honored as as the Internet Company of the Year. This is the first time the Festival has handed out this award. . . . Giant Step, Chicago, is in the process of opening an office in Seattle. The interactive agency, majority owned by Leo Burnett Co., for some time has been working on projects for nearby Microsoft Corp. Giant Step has a New York office. . . . AudioBase and Dae Interactive Marketing, San Francisco, today roll out audio-enabled foreign-language banner ads. The banners for MCI WorldCom feature Japanese voice and text promoting MCI's low rates for telephone calls from the U.S. to Japan. Dae created the ads that tap AudioBase's software to deliver 20 seconds of voice, music and animation over the Web. . . . Kurt Fliegel, publisher VP-advertising sales and marketing at Time Inc. New Media in