Teen Girl Site Launches

In a bid to tap into the pocketbooks and mini-backpacks of teenage girls, Sweet16.com, a multi-media company whose
shareholders include none other than Britney Spears, opens its doors
later this month.


Eventually, the Sweet16 media empire, aimed at girls aged nine to 17, is
expected to include a Web site, a magazine, a network radio program, a
television show and branded retail merchandise. The Sweet16 Web site
officially launches July 31, and the premiere issue of Sweet16.com Magazine
will appear on newsstands August 1.


“Teen females are savvy Internet users who are driving a tremendous amount
of
spending,” said J. Patrick Kenny, co-founder, president and chief operating
officer of Sweet16 Intermedia.


“While they represent a huge online and offline purchasing presence, they
are significantly under served by marketers and the media.”


There’s no shortage, though, of Web sites aiming to attract this audience.
There’s Bolt.com, Alloy.com, iTurf.com, MXG.com, React.com, and small sites like SmartGirl.com. Some of these —
Alloy.com, iTurf.com, and MXG.com — even have off-line publications, either
catalogs or magazines, designed in part to drive traffic to their sites.


But Sweet16 has Britney, a built-in celebrity spokesperson. The site will
launch with a Webcast of the singing star’s sold-out concert at the
Hollywood Bowl.


“Britney Spears will help create Sweet16.com and entertain, inform and
interact with the first generation of girls and teens growing up and making
an impact on the new century,” said Shelly Palmer, chief executive officer
of Sweet16.com Intermedia.


“Our goal to make Sweet16.com the resource and place that young girls and
teens turn to first to hear about, see and experience all the truly cool
parts of today’s culture.”


Content areas will include “Life Happens,” a section that focuses on the
life experiences of teenage girls. Chat rooms, streaming media, news,
photos, and interviews will also be a part of the mix. The company hopes to
capitalize on its Britney Spears relationship and lure other young
entertainers. Sweet16.com is also developing content and promotional deals
with such recording groups as ‘NSync, Third Eye Blind and 98 degrees.


The company is dealing with the issue of appropriate content by requiring
every site visitor to register and declare her age. Parental approval is
required for girls 13 and under to register on the site, and Web page
content is dynamically and selectively delivered depending on the person’s
age.

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