IQ News: Eh, What’s Up, eBay?

Warner Bros. Online struck a deal to integrate online auction site eBay throughout its various sites, including the personal home page community AcmeCity, launched mid-January, and official sites for TV properties, including The Rosie O’Donnell Show and Babylon 5.
“The benefits of the Web are content, community and commerce,” said Jim Moloshok, president of the Burbank-based Web entertainment company. “The relationship with eBay allows us to … bring together the best of them. They have the commerce, we have the content, and we both have communities.”
“We do an enormous number of deals with content sites, almost one a day,” said eBay vice president of marketing and business development Steve Westly. “Warner Bros. is one of my favorite sites because it ties into our vertical strategy.” The Looney Tunes affinity area, for example, will link directly to the animation collectors’ section of eBay, while eBay will provide links to WB sites on its own pages.
Moloshok would not disclose what the eBay deal was worth, but said, “It’s based on a guarantee and upside benefits to Warner Bros. based on additional traffic we drive to them.”
The deal is another sign of auction fever. Last Tuesday, auctioneer The Boxlot Company, San Diego, agreed to pay New York-based theglobe.com $2,250,000 over two years to let boxlot.com set up shop among its communities. Then, last Thursday, Dulles, Va.-based America Online announced a four-year strategic agreement with eBay. The San Jose-based company will pay AOL $75 million over four years to reach across the entire family of AOL brands, including portals AOL.COM and Netscape’s Netcenter, online services AOL and CompuServe, ICQ and Digital City.
“We look at auctions as another way to monetize and capitalize on the audience we’ve been accruing,” said Todd Krizelman, co-CEO of theglobe.com.
Will auctions be this year’s free e-mail? Maybe, says Moloshok. “It’s another category of commerce partnerships and it opens up a new range of clientele to content sites.”–Susan Kuchinskas