AOL’s big gamble

According to, AOL is considering offering its entire menu of services — including e-mail, virus protection and other security software — free to anyone who has a competing Internet connection, WSJ reports.

Says PaidContent, “Under this proposal, which AOL CEO Jonathan Miller presented to top Time Warner executives in NYC last week, AOL would stop charging a subscription fee for outside users, but subscribers who have traditional dial-up through AOL would still have to pay their monthly fee of as much as $25.90. The company expects that 8 million of its existing dial-up customers would cancel their subscription to take advantage of the new offer…it could be giving up as much as $2 billion in subscription revenue in a gamble aimed at boosting ad revenues.”

Massive layoffs would follow reducing costs and advertising revenue increases would offset the rest of the subscription decline.

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