Big AOL story in the WSJ

This is a very big story obviously. I’m not going to get into my personal views on this since I’m an SVP at AOL and folks have been putting what I write on my blog (i.e. my person thoughts) into research reports recently (I’m not kidding). So, for now let me just outline what is being said and you guys can comment on it.

  • From the WSJ: Under the proposal, which AOL Chief Executive Jonathan Miller presented to top Time Warner executives in New York last week, AOL would stop charging a subscription fee for users who already have a high-speed Internet service or dial-up service from another provider. Subscribers who have traditional “dial-up” Internet access through AOL would still have to pay their monthly fee of as much as $25.90. Nearly one third of AOL’s customer base of 18.6 million already has high-speed access — but the company expects that 8 million of its existing dial-up customers would cancel their subscription to take advantage of the new offer.

For now let me pull some opinions from around the web:

  • My very, very, very smart friend Fred says this is a no brainer and AOL should go for it: “C’mon AOL, just do it. You know it’s the right thing to do.
  • My other very, very, very smart friend Henry says this is “Scary But Smart” on his blog: “AOL is between a rock and a hard place. If it does nothing, it dies slowly. If it makes moves like the one described above, it deeply wounds itself but hopes that it will recover and have a long-term future. Neither option is appealing. But only one–the latter–gives the company a chance of being around for the next few decades.”
  • IP&Democracy shows our amazing advertising growth.

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