PennMedia to Spin Off Research Company

E-mail newsletter ad network PennMedia this week joined the many ad-supported Internet plays moving into the research biz.

The Mokena, Ill.-based company said that it will leverage the aggregated readership of its approximately 700 newsletters to roll out a new research company in conjunction with a business partner, marketing services firm Prosper Business Development.

The companies said their new joint venture, Big Research, will have access to the 51 million subscribers in the PennMedia newsletter network, and will sell research products based on information it gathers, to marketing companies.

Much of this research will be done by surveys embedded in the newsletters, which are double opt-in and entirely ad-supported.

“Big Research will employ the latest research communication techniques … in gathering very large sample sizes from the various interest communities in the PennMedia network,” said Prosper research vice president Joe Pilotta.

“The application of computer-intensive statistics for processing large sample sizes will enable us to uncover consumer insights never before possible, for more accurate policy research and decisions,” Pilotta said.

The company said it planned this week to release the results of a holiday survey of 20,000 newsletter members, which it gathered during a six-day period from November 8th through the 13th.

“The ability to quickly gather large samples of online consumers over a very short time and in a cost-effective manner will be invaluable to market researchers,” Pilotta said.

In addition to conducting its own syndicated surveys, Big Research will make its survey platform, software and access to 51 million online members available to other research and consumer companies who comply with its privacy policy.

“The development of Big Research is a logical extension of our subscriber network which includes over 51 million regular readers,” said PennMedia president Jaffer Ali. “Prosper has a proven track record for developing next-generation marketing services and Big Research is another example of that.”

PennMedia already has a private-label newsletter syndication joint venture, Relatemail, with Columbus-based Prosper.

“Big Research is similar to the Relatemail service we recently announced, in that it changes the nature of marketing and economic relationships by utilizing the e-mail side of the Internet to create a demand economy,” Ali said.

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