IAR Bits and Bytes

AOL, AmEx Ink Small-Business Marketing Pact

AOL and American Express announced on Monday that they had agreed to a multiyear joint-marketing deal aimed at small business owners.

The deal, whose financial terms were not disclosed, calls for American Express’ small-business-focused Open Network to be the exclusive credit card advertisers on AOL Small Business, AOL’s three-month-old initiative for small business services.

AOL Small Business will feature a variety of the OPEN Networks’ services, including charge and credit cards, across AOL properties, including AOL for Small Business, Fortune Small Business, Time.com and Business 2.0. Meanwhile, the OPEN Network will push services from AOL for Small Business to its members and offer discounts on some benefits.

AOL started its small-business initiative in November, billing it as a way to leverage its network of 35 million subscribers to tap into the growing small-business market. The service lets members build Web sites, design email marketing campaigns, and buy listings on AOL Yellow Pages. Microsoft offers similar services through its Microsoft bCentral offering.

RedSheriff Buys Australian Marketing Analytics Co.

Web analytics company RedSheriff announced on Tuesday the acquisition of Traffion, an online marketing analysis company.

RedSheriff, which has headquarter in both New York and Australia, bought the Australian company in order to build on it own hosted analytics offering with an online marketing analysis service.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The company said it would integrate both development teams within a month. In the next three months, RedSheriff said it would role out Traffion’s services as part of the RedSheriff product line.

TheStreet.com Nears Profits on Subscription Revenue

Financial news publisher TheStreet.com reported on Tuesday higher revenues and reduced losses in the fourth quarter, thanks to an upswing in the company’s subscription business.

For the last three months of the year, TheStreet.com had $6 million in revenues, a 55 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. Net losses were trimmed more than 80 percent to $1.2 million.

Subscriptions rose to 71 percent of revenues, while advertising and e-commerce made up 23 percent. A year ago, advertising accounted for 43 percent of the company’s sales. While advertising revenue has played a smaller role in the company’s business since it began offering premium services and content, ad revenues did rise 30 percent in the fourth quarter compared to last year.

During 2002, TheStreet.com launched half a dozen new subscription products and a subsidiary to provide research to institutional investors.

The company ended the quarter with $29 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term securities.

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