Magazine article Information Today

Business Wire, Medialink Joint Venture to Create Portal with Multimedia News Content

Magazine article Information Today

Business Wire, Medialink Joint Venture to Create Portal with Multimedia News Content

Article excerpt

Business Wire and Medialink Worldwide, Inc. have announced that they have formed a joint venture to build a comprehensive Internet portal for the delivery of multimedia news releases to Internet news sites and journalists worldwide. The new venture, Newstream.com, will embed streaming video and audio, live Webcasts, photographs, corporate graphics and logos, PowerPoint slide shows, and spreadsheets in news releases. The service will be marketed and sold to clients of both Business Wire and Medialink, and is scheduled to launch this fall.

The companies estimate that Medialink has the potential to reach more than 6,000 online news sites, which will have access to relevant multimedia news releases. The sites will also be able to choose from a menu of content choices, and all multimedia elements will be fully downloadable for online publication. The site will be password-protected, but there will be no charge for journalists to access the information. Newstream.com will charge the companies for which they post or. produce information.

The larger, privately held Business Wire, which has a sales staff of nearly 100 professionals in 26 offices in the U.S. and an international hub, expects its 1999 billings to be $100 million. Medialink, currently trading as MDLK on Nasdaq, has a sales staff of 26, plus production and media relations staff, in 10 U.S. offices, with international operations based in London. Medialink reported 1998 revenues of $40 million, a 48 percent increase over the previous year.

Each company will provide an initial investment of $2 million for the joint venture, and revenues will be equally split. Newstream.com will be operated by a soon-to-be-named management team, consisting of some outside hires (with two rumored to be "heavyweights" in the broadcast area) and others from both companies.

Merrill Lynch Television, the first charter content contributor to the new portal service, is serving as a participating consultant during the current beta phase. …

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