Snowball.com Hops on Marketing Research Bandwagon

Young adult portal Snowball.com said it would be forming a marketing research division designed to monetize its user base.

The company said IQuestics will focus on gathering information on the site’s chief demographic, 13-30 year-olds — what it terms “Generation i” — for the company’s strategic partners, advertisers, and, it hopes, Fortune 500 companies.

IQuestics will conduct research among its membership using surveys, Internet polling, online focus groups and by culling the content of discussion boards.

“Snowball, which has a better understanding of ‘Generation i’ than any other site on the Internet, built its reputation by knowing what appeals to its core users,” said IQuestics vice president Kim Bastoni.

As of press time, the company did not say whether it has any clients for the research.

The news continues a trend of ad-related firms rolling out research units to squeeze more money from their Web traffic, in the aftermath of an April market correction and a slowdown in online ad revenues. Last month, ad-supported ISP NetZero unveiled its CyberTarget division, designed to leverage the company’s active user base of about 2.1 million. Also last month, online ad giant DoubleClick bought research group @plan.

As did NetZero at the time of its research unit rollout, Snowball touts its new product by saying its eight million monthly users provide a greater understanding of its user demographic than can traditional Internet rating companies, with panels numbering in the thousands.

PC Data, for instance, claims to have the largest Internet usage research panel in the U.S., with more than 120,000 participants.

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