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NetZero Signs 200,000 Users in 11 weeks; Adds Advertisers

Ad-backed Internet access service NetZero Inc. said it has attracted more than 200,000 subscribers in 11 weeks. New advertisers include Compare.net and Deja News

Sign-ups are occurring at a rate of at least one every 45 seconds, NetZero said, and the site is delivering more than 100 million page views per month.

NetZero said it has exceeded its ad revenue goals and is currently 100 percent sold out. The newest advertisers are Compare.net and Deja News, which join BellSouth, Music Blvd., The Trip.com and Nissan. All told, the company said it has signed up more than 40 major advertisers, evenly split between Web sites and companies offering products or services.

"As these figures indicate, both subscriber and advertiser acceptance of NetZero's service has been nothing short of outstanding," said Ronald T. Burr, CEO. "This performance reflects the overall value of our service--not just the ability to get online without paying, but to receive advertising that is relevant and appropriate. While we're modeled after network TV and radio, we're actually redefining Internet advertising with targeting capabilities not previously seen in any medium."

"We're also heartened by the spontaneous emergence of NetZero-oriented communities around the Internet," Burr said. "In addition to an array of newsgroups, more than 600 sites now feature 'NetZero Now' buttons that permit immediate downloading of our software. This is viral marketing at its best. . ."

NetZero provides free Internet access via a local dial-up account and an e- mail account for each individual user in a household, a business or at specific location, such as a school or library. To subscribe to NetZero, users must complete a profile that captures their interests and demographic data . NetZero's patent-pending zCast software allows advertisers to target by geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioral information in real time.

On the desktop, NetZero opens a movable, 1-inch-by 3-inch portion of an 800x600 display that continuously delivers high-quality, 30-second ads. The subscriber can move the NetZero window to a preferred location on the screen, but cannot close it.