Drkoop.com Passes Physical In AOL Launch

Two months after forging a four year, $89 million (US$) strategic marketing agreement, America Online and drkoop.com (Nasdaq: KOOP) unveiled the healthcare network’s exclusive content on AOL’s Health Channel.

One of the larger Internet alliances to date, the agreement between the two companies signaled a major commitment by the Austin, Texas-based healthcare site to get out in front of a growing pack of competitors.

Today’s launch of exclusive drkoop content — including health tips and advice — is just the tip of the iceberg. In the coming weeks, hundreds of drkoop healthcare topics will be launched across AOL’s network, which includes CompuServe, Netscape NetCenter and Digital City.

“The close relationship drkoop.com is building with America Online is putting the power of information back in the hands of millions of Americans,” said C. Everett Koop, chairman of the company. “For every person who finds the resources they need and who is informed and empowered by the important tips featured on AOL, we’re making a difference.”

The Fruits of Their Labor

Through a press statement, drkoop.com claims that it has seen record traffic to its site since the deal was announced. Media Metrix did rank it the number one healthcare site in July, saying that drkoop logged 1.4 million unique visitors that month. The closest competitor was onhealth.com, which welcomed 1.14 million visitors.

Drkoop.com is clearly hoping that the deal with AOL will drive many more visitors to its comprehensive network of topic-related channels, columns and advice tips, e-commerce features and interactive tools.

AOL wouldn’t mind an increase in traffic to drkoop either. In addition to justifying the costly arrangement, it would also give the world’s largest interactive services company an added incentive to exercise the stock warrants it received in the deal to purchase drkoop shares.

Drkoop has passed its physical with flying colors in recent months. Named after the bearded, bespectacled, former U.S. Surgeon General — who sits as chairman and retains a minority stake in the company — the company went public with an IPO in June, raising $84 million.

Drkoop promptly committed that money to AOL, but it also is the exclusive provider of healthcare content to three GO network sites and to GO’s ABCNews.com. More deals are expected.

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