Chapell & Associates

Monday, July 31, 2006

Warner Bros. To Cut Link With Adware Firm Zango

Washington Post - July 28, 2006 Warner Bros. Studios, home to Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo and Harry Potter, said yesterday that it plans to terminate a business relationship with Zango Inc., an adware company that has been offering free games on the Warner Bros. Web site in exchange for permission to install a computer program that could push advertisements and pornography.

The Chapell View
View Many of us were pretty surprised when this deal was originally announced. The record labels have traditionally been very conservative in their online endeavors. But Warner agreed to move forward so long as Zango in turn agreed to adhere to a set of standards. It'd be great to catch of glimpse of that set of standards - just to compare it to TRUSTe and similar efforts.

I've always thought that Zango (formerly known as 180 Solutions) had one of the more interesting business models in the adware space. The concept of accepting pop-ups in exchange for access to MP3's from your favorite garage band seems compelling - at least compelling enough that SOME people would be willing to make that deal.

The problem with Zango historically is that they have (allegedly) been unable or unwilling (depending upon whom you ask) to effectively police their large distribution network. And that's not me talking, that's the Center for Democracy and Technology as well as others industry experts with whom I've spoken with over the past year. Anyway, it would seem to me that if Zango could figure out a way to keep everything on the 'up and up' that they'd be able to leverage more deals like the one with Warner, and could hypothetically be the leading Adware company when all is said and done a few years from now.
posted by Alan on Monday, July 31, 2006

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