Salon.com Rolls Out Larger Ad Units and Readies Launch Of Subscription Service.


Salon Staff
March 21, 2001 12:58AM (UTC)

SAN FRANCISCO, March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Salon.com (Nasdaq: SALN), a leading Internet media company, today announced the launch of new, larger advertising units and plans for Salon Premium, a paid subscription service that will provide Salon users with an "ad-free" version of Salon, along with exclusive new content features.

Salon's new larger, rich-media-compatible advertising formats were introduced by CNet and recently refined and adopted by the Internet Advertising Bureau. The first of the new ad units to be implemented will be the "Messaging Plus" unit, a large rectangle 336 x 280 pixel format that provides an ideal showcase for both HTML and rich media. According to recent research by EyeTracking.com, users spend more time with the new ads, and brand recall was as much as three times higher than for conventional banners.

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Intel and Lexus, two of Salon's longtime advertisers, will be the first to deploy the new ad formats on the Salon network.

Says Michael O'Donnell, CEO and president of Salon.com, "In order to capture our share of the $200 billion advertising market, Internet advertising needs to mature and become more competitive with broadcast television and print advertisements. Salon will work with industry leaders such as CNet and the IAB to offer our advertisers creative and engaging solutions."

Salon.com today also announces that it is readying the roll-out of Salon Premium, a paid subscription service being offered to Salon's 2,700,000 monthly visitors, set for launch in April. Subscription benefits at launch will include the option to view Salon.com content without advertising banners and pop-ups, and access to exclusive new content. After its debut, Salon Premium will continue to be enhanced with new features, including additional content and a new download feature enabling users to read Salon when not connected to the Internet and to conveniently print out multiple articles for offline reading.

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Says O'Donnell, "We're excited to launch our first user-paid premium subscription, and hope to attract a significant number of paid users. We're providing our readers two compelling options to enjoy Salon -- on a free basis with prominent advertising, or an 'ad-free' version of Salon with an annual subscription. The Internet is all about flexibility and we're delighted to provide these options to both our advertisers and our readers."

About Salon

Founded in 1995, Salon.com is a leading Internet media company that produces 10 award-winning, original content sites and hosts two communities -- Table Talk and The WELL. In May 2000, Salon acquired MP3Lit.com, a pioneering Web company offering quality spoken-word and audio literature recordings. In October 2000, Salon.com launched Salon Audio, a site offering 24-hour music programming, daily downloads and streaming audio from Salon's favorite columnists, as well as hundreds of downloadable versions of short stories, poems and interviews in MP3 and Real Audio formats. Over 530 companies have advertised on Salon.com including IBM, Lexus, Microsoft, EDS, Hewlett-Packard, Mastercard, AskJeeves, Virgin Megastore Online, Kimberly Clark, and Intel. In December 1999, Salon.com announced a content and equity agreement with Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corp. and NBC. Strategic wireless distribution partners include AvantGo, Omnisky, Palm.net and Skytel.

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