Associated Net services ‘gain ground’ on Yahoo!

New Media is edited by Michael Kavanagh, who can be contacted on 100413.3070@compuserve.com

UK Plus, the Internet directory launched by Associated Newspapers’ electronic publishing arm at the end of January, has ended its three-month advertising charter period with audience figures of 92,000 page views a day.

Lee Thompson, marketing manager for Associated Electronic Publishing, says UK Plus had com- fortably met its minimum guaranteed delivery of 275,000 page im-pressions to charter advertisers booked in the period to April 30.

UK Plus, already signed up as the default search service by BT and News International-backed Line-One, has also strengthened its distribution over the past week by signing up as the preferred UK search facility for Microsoft-backed MSN, which now has an estimated subscriber base of 150,000 customers in Britain.

The search site still lags substantially behind market leader Yahoo! UK and Ireland, which is thought to be generating 500,000 page impressions a day.

UK Plus will also face increased competition this year as other US-based rivals, including Excite, roll out services aimed at helping Britons navigate the Web.

But Thompson predicts UK Plus will continue to grow ahead of the market, and is making a conservative estimate that the service will be delivering over 200,000 page impressions a day within 12 months.

AEP is also claiming healthy growth in the audience of its Soccernet service, which is now claiming to attract 170,000 page views a day.

The success of both sites has established AEP as one of the top selling points for UK-based Internet traffic, says Thompson, who claims AEP’s combined audiences are now ahead of the Electronic Telegraph, Times, and EMAP’s basket of popular online sites.

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