Ask Jeeves to Feature Ticketmaster, CitySearch Content

Links to Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch properties will receive prominent placement on question-answering search engine Ask Jeeves, the companies said Wednesday.

As part of a strategic content-distribution agreement, Ask.com visitors seeking local news and information, live event tickets and online matchmaking will be recommended Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch’s (TMCS) properties citysearch, Ticketmaster Online and dating site Match.com, respectively, ahead of other suggestions.

The deal gives TMCS access to a widely trafficked content site. According to Web metrics and measurement firm Media Metrix, Ask Jeeves posted almost 12 million unique users in July, reaching an estimated 15 percent of online households.

Ask.com benefits too — access to TMCS’s properties is in high demand, as the second largest e-tailer among U.S. home users in June, according to audience measurement company PC Data Online.

Executives are anticipating the deal will only increase that reach.

“With true national scale, we can capitalize on strategic agreements with leading companies like Ask Jeeves to drive traffic to our Web sites and provide our content and services to a broader audience nationwide,” said Dan Marriott, executive vice president of strategy and corporate development for TMCS.

“By partnering with the leader in areas like ticketing, local content and matchmaking, we can offer our users the best of the Web and a richer and deeper experience,” said Jeffrey Mahl, senior vice president of targeting and acquisition for Ask Jeeves.

TMCS’s links will appear in Ask.com’s search returns as part of an initiative announced in June by Ask Jeeves, to sell new ad space within its on-site content, including placements among search returns.

At the time, Ask Jeeves executives defended the decision against criticism that they obscured the fact that the top-most returns could be paid advertisements. Officials said the paid links would be as good, or better, places to find information as their non-paying competitors.

In addition to advertising revenue, Ask Jeeves also markets its online question-answering technologies to companies as a CRM and internal support solution.

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