Shifting winds in the Internet economy sent the online ad market into a tailspin. New formats and flashier ideas tried to bring it back on course. Meanwhile, subscriptions replaced free offerings on countless Web sites.
Death of the free Web
special coverage The notion of an indefinitely free Web is exposed as a fallacy, pushing companies reliant on advertising revenues to protect themselves with subscription plans and flashy ad formats.
June 6, 2001AOL hikes subscription rates
The online behemoth raises its monthly Net access price by 9 percent, testing consumers' appetite for the service; competitors follow with their own rate increases.
May 22, 2001Court gives Napster a break
special coverage The file-swapping company is ordered to stop trading some music, but a federal judge lets it keep the service running and pursue settlements with the music industry.
March 6, 2001Is Napster a losing bet?
The respite was for naught. Despite a $60 million loan from Bertelsmann, Napster has lost millions of former fans to alternative services, and its planned relaunch is postponed until 2002.
November 6, 2001Yahoo's ad ache
special coverage Even the Net bellwether suffers from a shortage of online advertising revenue; it warns that yearly earnings will be lower than expected, and CEO Tim Koogle steps aside.
March 8, 2001Yahoo streams toward fees
The Web portal digs deep for new goldmines, testing subscription plans for everything from streaming video to personal ads and home page hosting.
October 29, 2001If you post it, will they pay?
As free services from Napster to BlueLight struggle to survive, other companies begin charging for content. But it remains to be seen whether people will open their wallets.
March 29, 2001DoubleClick doubles down
special coverage Online ad companies are convinced the Net is still a worthy marketing medium, but they're also diversifying their businesses to ensure the money rolls in even if advertisers back out.
June 21, 2001Sites prey on rivals' stores
Attracting traditional advertisers and their deep pockets could be difficult with the advent of applications such as Gator, which lets marketers place ads on rivals' Web pages.
August 7, 2001Hopes run high for Net ad market
Although online advertising spent the year reeling from the New Economy's crash, analysts and media executives see the market recovering in the next six months.
December 11, 2001