DoubleClick Exits Site Analytics Biz, Strikes Partnership

Online ad technology firm DoubleClick will discontinue its SiteAdvance Web site analytics product, and try to migrate its 50 existing clients to new partner Omniture’s SiteCatalyst.

DoubleClick said it analyzed the analytics market and found its own product wanting. It provided marketing campaign-oriented analytics but wasn’t competitive in providing data about site-specific behaviors.

“Behavioral analytics was not a core market for us, so we wanted to partner with someone who was number one,” said David Rosenblatt, president of DoubleClick. “It allows us to continue to deliver to our clients what we perceived as the real differentiator — integration with our email marketing and ad serving products.”

The company has around 50 clients for SiteAdvance, including, Carrot Ink, Dixons Group, Verio, Crate and Barrel, Flax Art & Design and J. Jill. Its email and ad serving clients include Procter and Gamble, eBay, and the Wall Street Journal Online.

DoubleClick will work to migrate its customers over to SiteCatalyst beginning in the first quarter of 2005. Full integration between Omniture’s SiteCatalyst and DoubleClick’s DARTmail and DART for Advertisers will occur in the second quarter, the companies said. The partnership calls for Omniture to honor its existing contracts with clients without raising prices and DoubleClick to actively market SiteCatalyst.

It’s upon their integration that both DoubleClick and Omniture are pinning their hopes. Omniture notes that, of its existing customer base, 60 are also using DoubleClick products, giving it an opportunity to offer more value to those clients.

“All of the SiteAdvance customers are using other DoubleClick products. In order to maintain that integration, they’ll want to use our products,” said Josh James, CEO and co-founder of Omniture. “We view that possibility [of losing SiteAdvance customers to competitors] as minute.”

Competitor Coremetrics, however, sees the discontinuation of SiteAdvance as an opportunity. The company says it’s already in discussions with several SiteAdvance customers, which it hopes to convert to its technology.

“It [DoubleClick’s and Omniture’s technology] will be a first-generation solution and it’s not clear to me that they’ll be successful, since DoubleClick wasn’t successful with their own engineering staff,” said Brett Hurt, founder and VP of client services at Coremetrics, pointing to its integration with eight email service providers. “This will result in our getting a lot of new clients.”

JupiterResearch analyst Eric Peterson, who follows the Web site analytics industry, believes the business is Omniture’s to lose. “They get to preserve this closed loop of metrics around DART, and that, in my opinion at least, is a fairly valuable commodity,” he said.

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