Media forecaster SQAD announced it will launch its first Internet-oriented service, WebCosts, which will provide advertisers an average CPM per web property. SQAD will anonymously collect pricing data from advertising agencies and clients and use the data to calculate an average cost-per-thousand view for each web site. SQAD says that the data could serve as a negotiating tool for advertisers and publishers.

SQAD expects the service to officially launch during the third quarter of this year. The company already offers a similar service geared toward the broadcast media.

SQAD's goal with this new service is to create an industry standard that serves the buy and sell sides of the online advertising community. It expects to build an environment that will generate greater Internet advertising buys and provide a comfort level for both advertisers and publishers.

This is a rather ambitious idea, and will be interesting to see how the marketplace responds. Metrics, in general, are so crucial, and oftentimes difficult to get. If SQAD's solution can accurately provide relevant metrics for advertisers, it will garner considerable interest over time. But these can be tricky numbers to grasp. We'll have to wait and see how this initiative develops.