Rise and fall of free email.

I Find Karma (adam@cs.caltech.edu)
Wed, 5 Mar 97 02:59:31 PST


Man, D.E. Shaw not only knows how to preject people, they also know how
to kill the competition. Rohit, you slacker, this was dated almost 3
months ago, why didn't you FoRK these bits?

> Freemark had raised $8.5 million but wanted another $10 million for
> print advertising, which the company desperately needed to attract
> subscribers, Crosbie said. By contrast, Juno spent $20 million during
> the past 12 months, funds provided by parent company D.E. Shaw, the
> Wall street powerhouse.
> It wasn't just the money that put Juno in the lead, said Juno
> President Charles Ardai. "[Freemark] had technical problems. It never
> launched a real marketing campaign. The reviewers preferred Juno. The
> combination [wasn't] a good one."
> On the day before Thanksgiving, CMG told Freemark's staff of 40 they
> were out of work. Email service for subscribers was cut off December 1.

And then there was one...

> Eighteen months ago, two start-up companies made big bets Americans
> wouldn't mind flipping through a few ads if they could get electronic
> mail for free.
> Today, one company, Juno Online Services in New York, has close to 1
> million subscribers and several dozen national advertisers including
> Microsoft, Sony, and American Express.
> The other company, Freemark Communications in Boston, suspended
> operations in early December after amassing 50 advertisers, including
> Citibank, Nabisco, and Campbell's, but only 50,000 subscribers.
> A third company, Hotmail, began offering an advertising-supported,
> free email service in mid-summer. The private enterprise claims to be
> signing up newcomers at a rate of 10,000 a day for a total of more
> than 750,000 subscribers.
> Juno and Hotmail use different means to accomplish a common goal:
> bring email to people who aren't typical Internet users, and in the
> process, secure millions of viewers for the consumer-goods companies
> whose ad dollars underwrite the services.
> Juno achieves this by giving away software that subscribers use to log
> on to the company's computer network to read and send mail, and see
> ads that match their age, income, and other demographics. Because the
> software isn't Internet-based, people don't need an Internet
> connection--just a computer, modem, and phone line.
> Hotmail, on the other hand, works through the World Wide Web.
> Subscribers log onto Hotmail's Web site to read or send mail. The
> set-up means subscribers don't need to own a computer, as long as they
> can access the Internet through a machine at work or a public place
> such as a community center or cafe. Hotmail users who log on from home
> do need a separate Internet account.


I'm not going to give you the pleasure of groaning... what message was
the proximate cause of this anti-cluon emission?
-- Rohit Khare