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Social Networking Sites Face a Revenue Reckoning, New Report Finds

November 14, 2008

NEW YORK, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ — As social networking sites mature, the need to establish consistent and reliable revenue streams will drive site operators to explore and develop a full range of options, including more sophisticated mobile computing and targeted advertising applications, according to the latest report published by Contentinople Insider (http://www.contentinople.com/insider), a new subscription research service from TechWeb’s Contentinople (http://www.contentinople.com/), an industry-leading provider of news and analysis covering the emerging digital media industry.

Monetizing Social Networking Sites: Fact or Faith analyzes the revenue-producing options available to social networking sites. The report assesses how applications such as mobile delivery, digital rights management (DRM), and premium content can help to churn out profits. Finally, this report identifies the top ten social networking sites (chosen from hundreds of sites distributed across the Web), providing profiles of their focus and business model.

For a list of companies profiled in this report, please see: http://img.lightreading.com/cpi/pdf/cpi1108_companies.pdf

“Large online retailers are likely to lead the way in using in-depth Web analytics to form a common methodology for evaluating how much money ads on social networking sites can bring through direct sales, brand recognition, or market intelligence,” notes Martin Courtney, research analyst with Contentinople Insider and author of the report. “As the true picture emerges, social networking sites may have to downgrade their market valuations.”

Providers seeking new revenue streams for their social networking Websites aim to use methods that users will be drawn to, Courtney says. “A host of extra paid-for content aimed at consumer, business, markets around gaming, virtual gifts, community tools, and software downloads will offer more concrete revenue streams than advertising for many sites,” he adds. However, advertising will not be pushed by the wayside: “Location-based information will be increasingly incorporated into social networking sites, so users can advertise their position to friends and buddies to arrange social events or schedules.”

Other key findings of Monetizing Social Networking Sites: Fact or Faith include the following:

   --  Many social networking sites feature new technologies, such as       application programming interfaces (APIs) and DRM, to add features       that will help generate more revenue by attracting more users.   --  Sites that have not yet taken the plunge will move into mobile phone       delivery as soon as possible to reach those who use mobile devices       over laptops or PCs.   --  Social networking sites, advertisers, search engines, and portals will       find new ways to exploit information contained in user profiles to       sidestep fears and legal debates about using the information for       commercial purposes.   

Monetizing Social Networking Sites: Fact or Faith is available as part of an annual subscription (six issues) to Contentinople Insider, priced at $1,295. Individual reports are available for $900.

Contentinople Insider is a brand-new research service that tracks, analyzes, and evaluates the key market and technology developments that will have the biggest impact on the digital media and communications industries in the months and years ahead. Starting with the first issue, each edition of Contentinople Insider will offer deep insight and hard-to-get market data and intelligence on the core issues facing industry participants and investors, such as:

   --  Content aggregation and distribution platforms   --  Digital content development   --  Video sharing   --  Digital advertising infrastructure   --  Mobile content platforms   --  Media servers   --  IP-aware set-top boxes and connectors   --  Content delivery networks (CDNs)   --  P2P technology and platforms   --  Streaming video standards   --  Digital rights management (DRM) software   --  Networked consumer devices   --  Content management platforms   

Along with competitive product and strategic analyses, Contentinople Insider will deliver essential information not available from any other source, including:

   --  Full results of exclusive surveys of digital media industry       professionals regarding spending and deployment plans for emerging       products and technologies   --  Up-to-the-minute details on technology and standards developments,       including the latest information on commercial availability of new       products and services   --  Independent and unbiased assessments of vendor market positions and       strategies   --  Advance intelligence on product and standards developments that will       have a direct impact on deployments of new technologies and services   

To subscribe, or for more information, please visit: http://www.contentinople.com/insider. For more information about our other Insider research services, please visit: http://www.lightreading.com/research.

To request a free executive summary of the report, or for details on multi-user licensing options, please contact:

   Jeff Claudino   Director of Sales   Insider Research Services   619-229-9940   claudino@lightreading.com    Press/analyst contact:    Dennis Mendyk   Managing Director   Insider Research Services   201-587-2154   mendyk@heavyreading.com    About Contentinople  

Contentinople (http://www.contentinople.com/) is TechWeb’s site for networking the digital media industry. Launched in 2007, the Website publishes news, analysis, and reports on enabling technology and business models being deployed in the digital media revolution. In addition to a fully staffed editorial Website, Contentinople is running a full program of live events and Webinars to help educate the market about trends in digital media technology.

About TechWeb

TechWeb (techweb.com/aboutus), the global leader in business technology media, is an innovative business focused on serving the needs of technology decision-makers and marketers worldwide. TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed media brands in the business technology market. Today, more than 13.3 million* business technology professionals actively engage in our communities created around our global face-to-face events Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat and VoiceCon; online resources such as the TechWeb Network, Light Reading, Intelligent Enterprise, InformationWeek.com, bMighty.com, and The Financial Technology Network; and the market leading, award-winning InformationWeek, TechNet Magazine, MSDN Magazine, Wall Street & Technology magazines. TechWeb also provides end-to-end services ranging from next-generation performance marketing, integrated media, research, and analyst services. TechWeb is a division of United Business Media, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $1.6 billion.

   * 13.3 million business decision-makers: based on # of monthly connections    About United Business Media Limited (http://www.unitedbusinessmedia.com/)  

United Business Media Limited (UBM) is a global media and marketing services company that informs markets and brings the world’s buyers and sellers together at events, online, in print, and with the information they need to do business successfully. UBM serves professional and commercial communities, from IT professionals to doctors, from journalists to jewelry dealers, from farmers to pharmacists around the world. UBM employs more than 6,500 people in more than 30 countries. UBM’s businesses operating in the US include CMPMedica, Commonwealth Business Media, Everything Channel, PR Newswire, RISI, TechInsights, TechWeb and Think Services. UBM is listed on the London Stock Exchange (UBM.L) and has a market capitalization of $1.6 billion.

Contentinople

CONTACT: Jeff Claudino, Director of Sales, Insider Research Services,+1-619-229-9940, claudino@lightreading.com, for Contentinople; Press/analystcontact: Dennis Mendyk, Managing Director, Insider Research Services,+1-201-587-2154, mendyk@heavyreading.com; for Contentinople

Web Site: http://www.contentinople.com/

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