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Re: FW: AM: Customer Acquisition via the Web

Subject:     Re: FW: AM: Customer Acquisition via the Web
From:     Dorf321 <>
Date:     Fri, 15 May 1998 11:45:47 EDT

In a message dated 5/13/98 8:33:08 PM Eastern Daylight Time,

<< I think Terry's notion of using the unique properties of the Web as a
 medium, namely interactivity, is right on target. There is, of course, the
 issue of how quickly the community can be expanded in order to generate ad
 revenues. And the issue of getting end-users to pay for Web content is
 still a big unknown. But certainly Womens Connect Online serves as one
 model of a revenue-generating online community. 
I felt compelled to jump in on this thread with Linda's comment about end-
users paying for Web content.  Although, I do not have experience in
newsletter publishing, I do have experience with the paying online community. 

As a consultant to Digital City, Inc., the local platform for AOL users, it
has been my experience that end-users are willing to pay for what they want.
As most of you know, there is a monthly fee to get the AOL content and with
10,000 new subscribers per day, one can certainly recognize that there is a
market for paid content.

As certain smaller web-sites start charging for content, it will be in my
opinion a more selective process.  I know that the Wall Street Journal is
charing for online subcriptions whereas has elected to
remain a free web service.  It will be interesting to see which model turns
out to be the more lucrative.

I do think it will be more difficult for niche sites to charge compared to
online networks like AOL, Compuserve and MSN; mainly because with the online
networks you get so much content compared to niche sites.

My opinion though, is that niche sites that are going for the business-to-
business clientele will have great opportunities and if they build there reach
there are several models that I think they will be able to profit from above
and beyond subscription fees and ad revenues.  The model that I have had a
great deal of success with is paid sponsored content and this model in my
estimation will work well for both free access sites and paid sites.

Mark N. Dorf
Digital City, Inc.
(703) 918-1872

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