AOL’s days of spamming mailboxes with CDs to attract naive subscribers is long over. Anyone who would subscribe to AOL is already a member. There is absolutely no compelling reason to pay them $25.90 per month for Internet access. Their precious walled garden disappeared years ago, making them just another overpriced ISP.
Give that, they need to do something to survive. That’s why they’re gambling on Internet ads, a move I believe will destroy the company within five years. They want to become a media comany like Yahoo, but there’s a problem: We’ve already got a Yahoo. They’ve been doing a lot of smart things lately, something that can’t be said of AOL.
My advice to AOL? The game’s over. You’re too big and too slow to stay afloat on ad revenue alone. You should realize that you had a good run, and then send Time Warner shareholders a nice big check in the mail thanking them for sticking with you over the last half decade.
Now that we all know you won’t do that, we can get on with the show. It’s not going to be pretty.