Forge Multi-Year Deal
By Kipp Cheng
NeoPlanet, a provider of personalized Internet software, today announced a multi-year content partnership with Lycos Network. The multimillion-dollar deal makes Waltham, Mass.-based Lycos and its network of sites exclusive providers of co-branded content within NeoPlanet's browser, and gives NeoPlanet another distribution channel, in addition to its own site at www.neo-planet.com.
NeoPlanet's integrated browser uses components of either Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer, and offers customizable interfaces, or "skins," that allow users to drape their browser in everything from gothic trappings to virtual greenery. When NeoPlanet launched in
October, it had an exclusive partnership with NBC's Snap.com. The deal ended in April.
NeoPlanet's "desktop portal" is free to download and features an anchored channel bar next to a browser overlay for Netscape and Internet Explorer. A window at the bottom of the NeoPlanet screen lets advertisers push ads to users. In addition to the Lycos-branded version of NeoPlanet rolling out today, in coming months the company will unveil co-branded versions of its desktop portal browser interface for sister sites Wired and Tripod.
"We think of NeoPlanet as the next-step browser that integrates content, personalization and, frankly, fun on
top of the great technology from Microsoft and Netscape," said Drew Cohen, president and CEO
Lycos officials could not be reached by press time.
Phoenix-based NeoPlanet has a registered user base of 1.2 million, with 550,000 unique visitors monthly and 110,000 visitors daily. Because the product can be updated dynamically, the changes will be apparent immediately to users.
Cohen said NeoPlanet can deliver a more relevant user experience because the interface seamlessly blends content and navigation. As part of the new deal, NeoPlanet and
Lycos will jointly pursue distribution through ISPs and OEMs. ƒ