Some e-commerce links will be embedded within the body of text in the site, the company said. For example, a user visiting CitySearch to read a music review could find links to purchase CDs or tickets to that artist's concert within the review. Ticket buyers also could purchase event-related memorabilia through links embedded throughout the Ticketmaster area.
"We think that both the Ticketmaster and CitySearch environments are natural places for people to buy CDs and merchandise, and we know that we have a unique opportunity to touch consumers throughout their ticket-buying experience," Tim Sullivan, vice president of Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch, said in a statement.
The initiative is the company's attempt to market merchandise more closely with content on Ticketmaster's online ticketing site and CitySearch's local guides. The company will offer more links for buying goods and services relevant to what users are looking for on the sites.
Ticketmaster's bid for a new revenue stream demonstrates how Web companies continue to search for advertisers and online retailers to get more return on investments. In general, ad banner rates have declined, and some e-commerce companies remain skeptical about the effectiveness of sponsorship deals on major Web content sites.
As for Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch, the company continues to try to grow to remain competitive. This summer the company acquired Microsoft's Sidewalk local guides, and it continues to add to its list of satellite sites, which include CityAuction, One&Only and LiveDaily.com.
Its competitors include online and offline giants, such as America Online's Digital City, Yahoo Local and newspaper chain Knight Ridder's Real Cities.
This week Ticketmaster launched the CitySearch Reservation Center, which allows people to use CitySearch city guides to make online golf reservations, schedule personal service appointments and make reservations at restaurants, the company said.
Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch derives most of its revenues from online ticket sales, advertising, e-commerce relationships, subscriptions through its Match.com online classifieds and Web hosting.