SIDEBAR: ZDNet, TechWeb lead techno-pack

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In the high-tech trade world, the two corporate behemoths on the Web are CMP Media's TechWeb and Ziff-Davis Publishing Co.'s ZDNet, both backed by a variety of highly successful titles but flourishing with original content and new branded areas as well.

ZDNet had ad revenues of $6.9 million in the first 10 months of 1996, according to research firm Jupiter Communications, New York.

TechWeb, which launched on the Web in October 1994 and completed a million-dollar-plus redesign this past September, generated ad revenue of $4 million in the first 10 months of 1996, according to Jupiter.

While it won't disclose its budget, associate publisher Chris Tice said CMP's investment in TechWeb has exceeded several million dollars.


The key to online success, she says, is to offer readers content and services they can't get elsewhere. To that end, TechWeb has developed eight unique online products and a search service in addition to individual areas for its 14 print publications.

Some of the new online areas, which are sold to advertisers as the TechCollection for a monthly rate of $70 per 1,000 impressions for banners that rotate through the eight products, include TechInvestor, which provides technology stock and financial analysis; TechCareers, a searchable online job resource; and ActiveXPress, a site for the ActiveX community.


TechWeb has months with between 130 and 150 advertisers at any time.

"The information technology market is constantly changing," said TechWeb's Mr. Tice. "Those involved in buying technology need information as quickly as possible to make decisions."

Being able to target a message at a self-selected, qualified audience is the single biggest benefit that trade publishers can offer their advertisers, analysts say, and publishers are coming up with innovative ways of doing this.

ZDNet, for example, has begun selling sponsorships of alumni lounges for graduates of ZDNet University, its online school.

"If you're Borland or someone who produces C++ programming tools, you'd love to sponsor the C++ alumni lounge at Ziff University," said Bill Doyle, an analyst for Forrester Research.


Jim Savage, VP-general manager of ZDNet, said it's important for trade publishers to develop new programs to sell advertisers.

"We see 1997 as a big opportunity to move to the next level beyond the banner," said Mr. Savage.

ZDNet now charges advertisers between $30 and $80 per 1,000 impressions for banner ads, although it does go off the rate card based on the size of the commitment, said Mr. Savage.

In addition, the company is experimenting with new programs it will offer its charter advertisers this quarter, such as the alumni lounge sponsorships.

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