SPSS Inc. (Nasdaq: SPSS), a worldwide provider of analytical technology, with their SPSS MR division, the leading strategic technology partner for market research; and America Online, Inc., through its Digital Marketing Services (DMS) subsidiary, the largest source of online survey respondents for market research firms, today announced a strategic alliance under which SPSS Inc. has acquired the exclusive rights to distribute survey sample drawn from more than 31 million AOL members and tens of millions of users of America Online's other interactive properties.
America Online, DMS and SPSS MR will work closely to expand online industry survey and sample services through OpinionPlace.com, the online industry's largest portal for reliable survey research respondents.
The agreement enables SPSS MR to offer a unique one-stop shop where researchers can get both the tools and the sample they need to conduct effective online customer market research. The agreement also expands the online survey market opportunity by allowing any firm in the research industry to work through SPSS MR when certified by America Online that they will comply with privacy and market research industry standards.
Dennis Gonier, Senior Vice President of America Online, said: "The demand for reliable online research has grown significantly over the last few years. In addition to using this data for the research needs of America Online, we developed a successful business that provides sample and online survey support to a select group of market research clients. The online research industry has now matured and is growing rapidly; we want to lead the transformation of this business on behalf of the entire industry. SPSS, particularly its division focused on solutions for market research (SPSS MR), is an obvious choice as our partner in this venture. They not only have the technological expertise and infrastructure to handle the demand from our research partners, but also are uniquely positioned in the marketplace to develop and support the expanding industry."
Under the terms of the agreement, SPSS will help AOL DMS to ensure consistent and reliable service to Opinion Place partners by assuming responsibility for servicing the current group of AOL DMS market research partners, which represent about 30 percent of all market research conducted in the U.S., according to Inside Research. Through DMS, America Online will provide SPSS with online survey respondents who have been provided incentives to participate in online studies, as well as transfer to SPSS the software essential to operating the business. SPSS has also been designated one of the preferred providers of analytical software to America Online.
"This agreement with AOL is set to transform the market research industry," said Jack Noonan, SPSS Inc. President and CEO. "Our partnership makes Web research a viable option for all market research agencies because both sample and the technological infrastructure are now available from a single source. For firms who are experienced with Web surveys but are hampered by a lack of sample, this capability opens up significant opportunities to grow their business. We are excited at the prospect of this partnership taking the entire marketing research industry to a new level.
"From a corporate perspective, this relationship strengthens one of the core aspects of the SPSS business by expanding the offerings of our market research division to include survey sample - the raw material with which our analysis products are used. In addition, we are staking out a position in a market that we believe is poised for dramatic growth, and doing so in alliance with the largest and strongest player in the online market," continued Noonan.
According to Inside Research, online market research services totaled $259 million in 2000 and are projected to reach more than $459 million in 2001. Companies are rapidly replacing traditional data collection methodologies with online data collection because of cost savings, speed advantages, and respondent preference. Considerable future growth is predicted as online data collection grows beyond the current five percent share of the $9.5 billion customer research market.
All articles 2006-21 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.