This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

About.com Grabs Net Deal Spotlight

"While the AOL and Time-Warner merger announced earlier this year created a mass media powerhouse of new and traditional media, the Primedia and About merger creates the leading model for the integration of traditional and new media niche content and the resulting delivery of targeted marketing vehicles," Primedia's then-CEO Tom Rogers said in a statement when the deal was announced in 2000.

The Primedia-About transaction, like the AOL Time Warner deal, didn't quite live up to its advanced billing. But online advertising has grown at About.com in recent months. The company said that online advertising was up $6.4 million in the third quarter of 2004, against a background of $324 million in total revenue for the quarter. But the company had little to say about About.com beyond that on its quarterly conference call with analysts. Bear Stearns estimates that Primedia's online properties amount to 5% to 6% of the company's revenue in its Enthusiast Media segment, which in turn amounted to 57% of Primedia's revenue in the first nine months of 2004. (The company is due to report fourth-quarter results at the end of February.)

Traffic to Primedia's sites, primarily About.com, is declining but still impressive. In January 2005, according to comScore Media Metrix, 37.9 million U.S. Internet users visited the site at least once, down from 41.4 million in January 2004. That's enough visitors to make the About.com properties the eighth-most-visited site on the Internet, just behind Ask Jeeves and just ahead of Viacom's (VIAB) sites.

Yet that traffic -- likely boosted by About.com's high placement in search-engine results when users search for general topics such as "pregnancy" or "cooking" -- doesn't generate much relative staying power.

According to comScore, visitors to About.com spent an average of 6.8 minutes on the site in January, compared with 25.2 minutes for Ask Jeeves visitors and 24.9 minutes for Viacom users. Visitors to Yahoo! spent 287 minutes on the site, while Time Warner visitors spent 331 minutes on related properties.

About.com's combination of high reach with low user involvement -- a site that visitors might like to visit, but not for long -- will pose a challenge to buyers interested in maximizing loyalty to the site.

2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,279.74 +13.75 0.08%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,579.7870 -13.6380 -0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs