RealTime IT News

Juno Looking To Cash In On Subscribers

Juno Online Services, Inc., is looking to leverage its subscriber base into profit, forming a strategic alliance Monday with Greenfield Online, Inc., to harvest subscriber information on customer habits and trends.

With 3.38 million subscribers, Juno is the third largest Internet service provider in the U.S. That's a large font of information for companies looking for specific demographic information.

Leelila Strogov, Juno's senior vice president for business development, said the deal combines Juno's large client base with Greenfield's online focus groups.

"Partnering with Greenfield Online will provide Juno and both companies' customers with valuable business intelligence," Strogov said. "We are looking forward to working together with Greenfield to survey our audience and conduct online focus groups and brainstorming session to take the pulse of our users on a wide variety of topics."

Greenfield Online officials are quick to differentiate its services from other marketing research sites like Harris Interactive, which has been in the news a lately because of lawsuits filed against the country's top ISPs, including America Online, Inc., and Microsoft Corp.

According to Harris, the ISPs had submitted the company to the Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS), a non-profit organization that lists the names of known spammers.

Both AOL and MSN recently added Harris back to its subscriber access, and Harris subsequently dropped its lawsuit.

Jean Tom, Greenfield Online public relations manager, members can click on a link at Juno's home page to participate in the latest surveys. Customers are then asked if they are sure they want to become a member of Greenfield's survey panel. The only drawback is the customer's automatic addition to subsequent survey panels, but Tom said it was easy to unsubscribe from the panel after participating. "Greenfield is an expert at building online panels," Tom said, "using the double opt-in method for all subscribers. We ensure that the aggregate information is only used by Juno for its own marketing purposes.

Juno hasn't collected information on its users since 1997, when the ISP worked with MarketFacts, Inc., and 24/7, according to Becky Yeamans, Juno spokesperson. And just because it is now gathering information is no reason for subscribers to be alarmed.

"Our customers privacy is our highest concern," Yeamans said. "We don't release specific information about a person and their spending habits, and we never will. All the information we collect is used to track demographic habits, and nothing more."