RealTime IT News

NetZero Breaks Into Top Ten

Five-month-old Internet provider NetZero Inc. Wednesday announced it had hit the 500,000-subscriber milestone.

NetZero now ranks as the nation's 10th largest ISP by subscriber volume, as reported by Interactive Services. NetZero's accomplishment establishes the ISP as the fastest-growing access provider on record. NetZero noted that the company sign-ups a new subscriber every 13.5 seconds on average.

The ISP said its Web site receives more than 400 million page views each month. According to NetRatings, the NetZero web site ranks among the top 13 sites by impressions worldwide.

"Surpassing the 500,000-subscriber mark in such a short timeframe truly is a milestone for NetZero," said Ronald T. Burr, NetZero's chief executive officer.

"We rank right behind Prodigy in number of users, and our growth rate from October far surpasses the rest of the industry."

On average, fee-based Internet service providers reported 22 percent subscriber base growth last year. NetZero has surpassed ISP industry growth averages, but remains a far cry from America Online's reported 17 Million subscribers. At NetZero's reported growth rate, it will take the company over 13 years to develop a subscriber base that rivals AOL's users right now.

NetZero's free-Internet access model is supported from a diverse advertising community that includes Disney, Macy's, , Amazon.com and Doubleday.

"NetZero provides a method for effectively targeting consumers that other companies simply don't offer," said Gil Penchina, eBay's senior director of business development.

NetZero is the first U.S. company to provide subscribers free Internet access nationwide. NetZero utilizes the same business model as commercially supported network television and radio stations. NetZero's revenue is generated through advertising and e-commerce sponsorships. Subscribers can move the NetZero window on their PC desktop to a preferred location on their screen, but cannot close it.