Drkoop.com Becomes Most Visited Health Care Web Site

Drkoop.com, Inc., the Internet healthcare network led by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, announced today that a record 14.7 million page views for September has made it the Web’s most visited health site.

This volume represents an increase of more than 12 percent from August page views, based on I/PRO’s records.

Additionally, September reports from PC Data and Media Metrix both ranked drkoop.com as the number one dedicated health Web site in September. Media Metrix also reported that drkoop.com ranked as the nineteenth Web site in its news, information and entertainment category for the month.

“Clearly, drkoop.com has been the consistent leader by any standard,” said Donald Hackett, president and CEO of drkoop.com. “While we continue to stress that the only reliable measurement of our traffic and trends is our own audited logs, we are pleased to see third party data confirm our ranking as one of the most popular sites on the Web.”

AOL Exclusivity Helps Site Soar

While drkoop.com is the exclusive provider of health and related content on three Web sites of the GO Network, industry observers feel that it is drkoop.com’s exclusive distribution across five America Online brands that has pushed it to the top. These brands include AOL.com, Netscape Netcenter, Digital City and CompuServe.

However, the number one online service provider’s assistance hasn’t come cheap.

Under a deal signed in July, drkoop.com is paying $89 million (US$) to AOL over the next four years. AOL will also receive fully vested and performance-based warrants to purchase shares in drkoop.com.

In return, AOL’s interactive sales force of more than 600 is building advertising and e-commerce opportunities across drkoop.com and its affiliate sites, as well as supporting its rollout of several new products and services throughout the four-year agreement.

With AOL’s massive marketing machine firmly behind drkoop.com, analysts point out that competitors such as WebMD and OnHealth Network will be forced to increase their marketing efforts if they hope to stay in the game.

AOL Membership Continues To Grow

As if to underscore the engine behind drkoop.com’s recent success, America Online, Inc. announced yesterday that its worldwide membership has soared to 19 million. The company pointed out that just over the past year, it has added more than 5 million members.

Additionally, the company noted that its membership growth is benefiting from the increasing popularity of e-commerce and families’ back-to-school focus on going online.

“We are gratified by the continued strong growth in AOL membership and are continuing to improve this premium service. Our rapid growth highlights the power of our mass-market brand and broad appeal of our service’s convenience and ease-of-use,” said Bob Pittman, America Online’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

Overall Usage Keeps Growing

In addition to this membership growth, there has been a significant increase in AOL member usage — showing that the service is becoming more essential to its members’ everyday lives. The improved statistics include:

Members are averaging 55 minutes online per day, an increase of 8 minutes over one year ago.

There are 1.25 million simultaneous users at peak times, compared to 820,000 one year ago.

80 million e-mails are sent daily, compared with 40 million a year ago.

476 million instant messages are sent per day, compared to 290 million a year ago.

More than 11 million members are now shopping online.

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