Claria Gives Up Adware Business
The company hired Deutsche Bank Securities earlier this year to help find a buyer for some of the products it bundles with adware, such as screensavers and Weatherscope, a desktop program that displays local weather information on users' personal computers.
Claria already ended relationships with distribution partners including Kazaa, the file-sharing service. Claria now intends to focus on building out its behavioral targeting service--officially announced in February 2005--which will send targeted ads to consumers based on their surfing activity.
The service will rely on detailed--but anonymous--profiles about consumers gleaned by combining information from cookies that track behavior across a limited number of commercial Web sites with information about the surfing habits of people that install Claria's software. The service is expected to launch with "PersonalWeb," a program that allows participating publishers to serve different pages to different visitors, based on their online behavior.
Claria also will soon announce a major distribution deal that will potentially expand its consumer base; last spring, the company said it was seeking a distribution partner that offered a downloadable toolbar or an instant messaging program. Claria software resided on around 40 million desktops at the end of 2004--the last time the company publicly disclosed the number of its subscribers.