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Snap, Xoom, VideoSeeker to be consolidated

NBC Internet said Monday that it plans to phase out its portfolio of separate ‘Net companies and brands, including Snap.com, Xoom.com and VideoSeeker, and consolidate them all under the NBCi.com banner beginning this fall.

In a business that demands a strong brand identity, NBC felt it had too many brands on the Web and that folding them into an NBC-backed moniker would increase traffic and attract advertising dollars.

Earlier this year, Disney portal Go.com went through its own reorganization to cut costs and boost traffic by focusing on entertainment, lifestyle and leisure, while promoting the Mouse House brand.

NBCi warned of low earnings Monday as it copes with slow ad sales during the restructuring throughout the rest of the year.

The new NBCi.com will relaunch in the fall. NBCi was formed last November as the official publicly traded Internet arm of the Peacock.

While Snap.com was designed to be NBC’s flagship portal, site never took off with Netizens. Xoom.com is an online community and Web site-building destination, while Video Seeker helps users search for viewable interviews and other content online. Together, company offerings should provide a stronger destination for NBC to offer Netizens.

New portal will integrate features from NBCi’s current Web sites including search, directory, personal file storage, home page building, multimedia, entertainment and e-commerce. Site will provide entertainment content from NBC.com and NBCX.com.

NBC said it has about $700 million in cash and future NBC TV promotional credits to help the company move forward. NBCi said it expects to become profitable in 2002.

“NBCi is focusing its business and unifying its brand strategy under NBCi.com, the most powerful brand in our network of properties,” said NBCi CEO William J. Lansing. “We are doing the post-merger integration to create an integrated portal that offers industry-leading relevancy, personalization and data mining, adding value to the interaction between our members and our marketing partners.”

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