Monday, December 20, 2004

Woolly mammoth fights back

America Online may be losing millions of dial-up subscribers a year, but it remains a formidale giant with (at last quote) 22 million still-paying customers and some 100 million visitors to its site each month.

The folks at AOL know they are ticketed for the High-Tech Tar Pit if they don't get beyond the dial-up business that is rapidly being eclipsed by faster and increasingly cheaper broadband connections provided by cable-TV and phone companies.

Rather than fighting the inevitable drain of customers, AOL execs wisely have embarked on a strategy to reinvent the company as an ad-supported collection of mondo content portals, as described an article at MediaPost. To wit:

AOL runs some of the most frequented properties on the Web. Data from comScore-Media Metrix as of November show that AOL Radio lured 7.6 million visitors, ranking No. 1 over Clear Channel; Moviefone scored 10.3 million visitors; CityGuide had 9 million; and AOL Living racked up 10 million, a gain from the 8 million it attracted in October. AOL Music, one of the company's programming success stories, ranked No. 2 in November behind Yahoo's Launch with 14.5 million visitors--up 4.5 million from October, according to comScore data. With sibling properties Winamp and SHOUTcast, AOL Music had 16.2 million unique visitors in November; Netscape pulled in 17 million visitors.
With all those eyeballs and a rich library of content from Time-Warner, AOL remains a potent woolly mammoth.

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