The Clickshare Access and Payment System gives users a "digital calling card" allowing them to charge purchases from publishers at many websites to a single account. It also tracks visits to advertiser-supported pages and supports authentication for "intranets".
Initial publishers are:
* Studio Briefing, a daily entertainment industry news intelligencer.
* The writer-owned American Reporter calls itself the Internet's first digital-only daily.
Multi-site user authentication is now operational. Customers starting at Clickshare Try It can register at either Web site, which becomes their "home". They can then use the other site during a session without being prompted for an ID or password.
"Soon we'll be able to offer publishers a new revenue stream -- selling each others' information for as little as a dime per click, seamlessly exchanging royalties," said Bill Densmore, Clickshare chairman and CEO. "Clickshare creates the opportunity publishers have been waiting for -- the ability to get paid."
Customers make payment arrangements off-line, so no credit information crosses the Internet. During the second quarter of 1996, after testing of the micropayment settlement infrastructure ends, users will be able to buy pages from multiple sources, with publishers getting aggregated sales information and users getting periodic single-account billing from their home publisher.
"We've been careful not to announce 'vaporware'. Though we're still in development, we're far enough along -- technically and with potential strategic partners -- to present Clickshare as an option for online businesses," added Densmore.
Clickshare's focus on microtransactions (purchases of information, software "applets," and other data typically priced under a few dollars ) means it is complementary, not competitive, to other e-cash systems, said Densmore.
"Clickshare, operating across multiple unrelated sites, working with any browser, and requiring no central database, also provides an ideal verification utility to track web audiences for advertiser-supported pages, with low impact on personal privacy," says Densmore.
Massachusetts-based Clickshare was spunoff from Newshare Corp. in December. It is privately funded and is in negotiation with strategic equity partners.
Felix Kramer, Kramer Communications, 212/866-4864 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
or Bill Densmore or Lynn Duncan, 413/458-8001 <email@example.com>
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., Nov. 13 -- Newshare Corp., developer of the Clickshare tracking and transaction system, said Monday it had joined the Interactive Alliance, an advertising-industry consortium developing Internet audience-measurement standards.
The company also said it will support privacy and other guidelines contained in an industry white paper developed by the Coalition for Advertising Supported Information and Entertainment (CASIE). CASIE's members control the majority of the $150 billion U.S. advertising market.
"The addition of Clickshare adds strength to The Interactive Alliance," said Marshall L. Snyder, executive vice president, Arbitron NewMedia and an alliance founder. "Their business proposition has the potential to generate large numbers of identified web users."
Newshare Corp. is alpha-testing its Clickshare system, which enables Internet publishers to cooperate in generating and sharing content revenues. The absence of a micro- transaction information standard has prevented many publishers from using the World Wide Web so far.
Under Clickshare, each consumer chooses a most-trusted publisher to whom to identify himself/herself and Clickshare will never see the names. That publisher and user determine how the user's name and demographic information may be used.
Clickshare enables the anonymous tracking of individual users as they jump among unrelated Internet sites, and offers a facility to settle information transactions down to as little as 10 cents. Clickshare requires no special user software and simplifies user access to information by rendering multiple registration at Web sites unnecessary.
"The Interactive Alliance has already brought together so much of the industry in acknowledging common principles, it will make our job easier to bring about publisher cooperation," said Bill Densmore, Newshare's president. "And the CASIE working group principles strike a laudable balance among marketing requirements for a user census, the consumer's need for ease-of-use and democracy's need to assure personal privacy."
CASIE is a joint project of the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies with the support of the Advertising Research Foundation. It seeks to define a universal standard for third- party verification of audience claims by Web publishers which gathers uniform usage data about individual users, while respecting their privacy.
"Audience measurement efforts which adhere to the CASIE principles should help grow interactive media and benefit all those involved, including advertisers, media buyers and sellers," said Judy Black, senior partner and director of the BJK&E Interactive Group and also the chair of the CASIE research subcommittee.
The Interactive Alliance is working to assemble the most comprehensive and definitive ongoing database on worldwide interactive media use. It was formed in 1995 by Next Century Media Inc., and The Arbitron Company. Other consortium members, in addition to Newshare Corp., now include Interse, McCollum Spielman Worldwide and MarketCast.
The Audit Bureau of Circulations and its technical support affiliate, WebTrack, have agreed to be participants in the work of The Alliance. Representatives of over 40 other industry organizations have agreed to participate as alliance advisors.
"Clickshare and The Interactive Alliance share a philosophy of cooperatively lifting the Interactive lake to raise all ships," noted Bill Harvey, president and CEO, Next Century Media. "It turns out that the Internet, which arose like topsy with no central direction, can become a more valuable business for content providers and advertisers by the same process of decentralized collaboration."
The advertising and publishing industries are struggling to reach a technology and consensus for the measurement and tracking of World Wide Web usage. The Newspaper Association of America has convened a Nov. 14 summit in Dallas so that major publishers and system vendors can discuss audience measurement principles. Newshare is among invited participants in the summit.
Newshare Corp. was founded in September 1994 by a veteran publisher, a university technologist and a marketing executive as the Internet's first news brokerage, with a goal of building a free market for digital information among independent publishers and their users. Its first product is Clickshare. Williamstown, Mass.-based Newshare is privately funded.
Next Century Media Inc. is a team of advertising and media-research executives committed to maximizing the effectiveness of Interactive media worldwide for advertisers, agencies, network operators, content providers and consumers. Next Century Media clients include advertisers and agencies collectively representing over $23 billion in annual advertising investments, plus a large number of network operators.
Arbitron NewMedia, a unit of the Arbitron Company, was established in 1994 to provide a wide range of survey research, consulting and methodological services to the cable, telecommunications, direct broadcast satellite, online and new media industries. The Arbitron Company is a media information firm providing services to broadcasters, advertisers and agencies. The Arbitron Company is a division of Ceridian Corp.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The Newshare document, "Key Points About Clickshare, CASIE and Audience Measurement," is available at: http://www.newshare.com/News/audience.html
The "CASIE Guiding Principles of Interactive Media Audience" are available at: http://www.commercepark.com/AAAA/bc/casie/guide.html
FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Newshare: Press inquiries to Felix Kramer, Marketing Director, (212) 866-4864 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Other inquiries to Bill Densmore, President, (413) 458-8001 <email@example.com>
Arbitron NewMedia: Thom Mocarsky, (212) 887-1314.
Next Century Media: Bill Harvey, (914) 255-2222 or (415) 331-0389.