Portals Hold the Key to Online Households, IDC Research Finds

FRAMINHAM, MA – AUGUST 26, 2002 – The focus of portals is shifting from "delivering eyeballs" to capturing a person's digital identity. According to IDC, portals will be measured by their ability to capture a person's digital identity and to deliver enhanced services to consumers and business partners in telecommunications, finance, and entertainment. The depth of the portals penetration into the day-to-day lives of U.S. Internet households will open up new avenues for businesses that want to deliver enhanced services to U.S. households while reducing customer acquisition and administration costs.


"Success for AOL, MSN, and Yahoo! depends upon more than the delivery of more page views and the registration of more users," said Richard Villars, Vice President, Internet Strategies at IDC. "They must create deeper relationship with their subscribers, touch more aspects of their lives, and be more indispensable than any other medium."

One of the next battles in this war involves migrating the existing customer base to broadband. As U.S. Internet households migrate to broadband connections, this will change the portals primary distribution relationships. They will need to develop marketing and information sharing systems that integrate much more closely with the broadband companies' sales, marketing, billing, and customer care systems.

The two most important alliances in this space are SBC/Yahoo! and MSN/Verizon. These partnerships were developed by the portals as a way to enhance their distribution channels. Subscribers to these services can look forward to a special co-branded broadband version of the portal that has enhanced features and functionality.

IDC's recently released report, IDC's 2002 Internet and Portal Usage Survey: The Portals Role in the U.S. Internet Household (IDC #27575), brings together a variety of IDC surveys and studies on consumer use of portals and analyzes the factors that will determine how the Big 3 will split the audience. This document is one of a series of studies that assess the competitive positions of MSN, America Online, and Yahoo! To purchase this document, call IDC's volume sales hotline at 508-988-7988 or email ctoffel@idc.com.

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in- depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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