Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen invested in C/Net: The Computer Network, a TV programming service to launch in the first half of 1995. The size of the investment wasn't disclosed. The first show, "C/Net Central," is now in development; C/Net eventually plans to become a stand-alone channel focusing on computers, online services, videogames and multimedia.
The Internet is increasingly viewed as an important consumer marketing vehicle, reaching as many as 30 million users. But only about 3 million U.S. households have access to the global computer network today, with the majority of users still coming from academia, corporations and government agencies, according to Find/SVP's "Interactive Consumers" research report. Not surprisingly, those homes contain upscale consumers, with an average household income of $66,700.
Prodigy Services Co. launched AstraNet, an Internet site independent of-but linked to-its commercial Prodigy online service. Users will be able to access content in areas including news, sports and finance. Premium services will be added next month. Access the area at http://www.astranet.com.
United Parcel Service will open forums on Prodigy and CompuServe; Federal Express is going on America Online and the Internet's CommerceNet. ... The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office formally rejected a patent claim by Compton's NewMedia; the company says it may appeal the decision. ... Wired opened HotWired on the Internet with sponsorships from 14 marketers. Access HotWired at http://www.hotwired.com/. ... Jim Docherty was named director of multimedia, a new post at Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, New York, in addition to his title of corporate regional sales director. He will develop and sell ad packages for Hachette's new-media projects.