Today, Thursday, the board of AOL Time Warner will listen with rapt attention to the revival [survival?] plans of its troublesome offshoot America Online. As, within minutes of the meeting’s end, will the highly developed aural orifices of Wall Street.
The proposed strategy is a critical blooding for AOL's new management team, inducted over the past five months. Squeaky-clean new ceo Jonathan Miller has been developing the strategy alongside Don Logan, former Time Inc chief executive and now chairman of the media and communications group. AOLTW chairman Steve Case, has also been closely involved.
The plan revolves around the inclusion of some of Time Warner’s traditional media assets into the AOL infrastructure. This carrot, the new management hopes, will not only help reduce churn (subscriber loss) but also tempt former subscribers back into the fold.
The inducements include MusicNet, an online music service offering hits from major music labels for download. There will also be online gaming and e-commerce services, such as auctions, intended to develop new revenue streams to offset declining advertising income.
Insiders stress, however, that the strategy is still very much at the work-in-progress stage. Some observers wonder if it might get around to considering the quality of the basic internet access and email product upon which all else hangs?
Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff