24/7, iSyndicate Offer Free Content to Portals

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iSyndicate and 24/7 Media announced last week they are offering free, sponsored content for portals looking to add content.

iSyndicate, San Francisco, packages real-time news and features from sites, such as CBS SportsLine, the Associated Press and RollingStone.com, and delivers it to Yahoo, GeoCities, Xoom.com and other sites for a fee.

24/7 Media, New York, a leading online advertising network, has agreed to post ads alongside this packaged content - creating what they call a new model of ad-sponsored content. By running the ad with the content, the fee is supplanted, making content available to sites for free.

Solid content is in demand for sites looking to function as a portal for their target markets. The teen apparel company Candies, for example, launched a site last month. When it realized a need for better content, Candies entered into an agreement with RollingStone.com.

"We're trying to build a portal for teens and we needed content. To get it quickly, we're leveraging relationships with existing business partners," said David Conn, vice president of marketing for Candies, New York. "We made an ad commitment to the magazine for the next couple years. In exchange, they are providing content starting at the end of this year."

Since there are a number of sites that don't have the ability to strike such a deal, ad-supported content could be a valuable alternative, according to Jared Stivers, spokesman for iSyndicate. "We're not licensing out the content and asking for money, instead we're giving out full text articles for free," he said. "The sponsors have already paid for it."

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