AOL Planning Move to Ad-Supported Model

Slashdot article

In recognition of the fact that its subscriber-based revenues continue to plummet, AOL is planning to shift to an ad-supported business model. AOL’s subscriber base, which peaked at 30 million users, now has less than 19 million subscribers and is still dropping — over 800,000 subscribers dropped the service in this year’s first quarter alone. In addition to seeing fewer AOL CDs, a shift to ad revenue also means some serious cuts in staff size, especially in the customer service and retention departments. From the article: ‘Time Warner plans to announce a series of changes at AOL that analysts say will mark the end of the company’s paid-subscriber model. The company will begin relying on advertising sales rather than monthly fees paid by customers, according to the Wall Street Journal. ‘I don’t know whether advertising will work, but my thinking is (the changes) are basically an acceptance of what is happening,’ says Joseph Bonner, a media and telecommunications analyst at Argus Research. ‘This is a reflection of reality, that they have to find some other source of revenue.””