WorldSpy.com Inc., a free Internet access provider that went bust June 30, announced yesterday that it would refer all subscribers to Juno Online Services Inc.’s similar free ISP service.
“The WorldSpy page you requested has a new location. If you’re not automatically redirected to the new page in a few seconds, please click on the link below,” reads a statement on www.worldspy.com.
Under the agreement, WorldSpy, New York, will receive compensation through Juno stock for each former WorldSpy subscriber who becomes a Juno subscriber in the next three months.
WorldSpy subscribers who convert to Juno, New York, will continue to receive e-mail at their WorldSpy address and will have free Internet access. They also can upgrade to Juno’s paid Juno Express broadband service.
The deal boosts Juno’s position as one of the leading ISPs, after America Online, EarthLink and NetZero. Juno has more than 3 million active subscribers through March 31. But the deal also highlights the tough economics for free ISPs that intend to survive mainly on advertising.
Besides WorldSpy and NetZero, other key players offering free Internet access are Alta Vista and bluelight.com, a joint venture of Yahoo, Kmart Corp. and Martha Stewart Omnimedia.
WorldSpy is among the more prominent free ISPs to go under in a market that now is evaluating Internet companies on profits, not just revenues or customer numbers.
“While we were encouraged by our growth in subscribers, given the current financial market conditions, this deal with Juno was our best alternative,” Sharon Rothstein, president/CEO of WorldSpy, said in a statement.