US Interactive tries a push strategy

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Online marketing agency US Interactive today launches a new business unit that latches onto the latest Internet trend: push technology.

The Digital Bindery, as the division is known, hopes to create a niche by offering a service that doesn't require a user to install a big software package and lets him order up information from any site, not just those signed up with the provider.

New York-based US Interactive, whose clients have included AT&T Corp., IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp. and others, is soliciting Web publishers to place the Digital Bindery icon on their pages, offering a $1 bounty per new subscriber.

Kevin Henderson, director of business development, claims the service will facilitate relationships between publishers and users.

"It'll help them capture a VIP list of customers and prospects," he said.

Digital Bindery, which is free to subscribers, e-mails selected Web pages when they change, then launches a user's browser either online or offline to view the content.

The product contrasts sharply with other "push" companies such as Marimba, Pointcast and NetDelivery, which require users to download large programs that can generally only access content from participating publishers. Those publishers pay hefty fees and often must use specialized server software.


Digital Bindery believes it can make money selling ad banners on the delivery page, signing up partners, and slipping targeted ad pages into the bundles it sends subscribers. It will also peddle trend reports and demographic data, distribute targeted mailings and license the technology to corporate users for intranets and customer mailings.

The company hasn't yet set a rate structure for ads, nor signed any sponsors.

Digital Bindery will also advertise on the Web and sponsor contests and other promotions to sign up customers. The company seeks 50,000 to 100,000 users by the end of April.

Copyright January 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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