AOL Plays Catch Up

USA TODAY reports on AOL’s efforts to keep pace with its fleet footed rivals.

This week, AOL begins integrating video search from Truveo, which it bought in December. The big push will come in mid-March, when 14,000 Warner Bros.-owned classic TV shows become available on AOL for free, supported by ads, as part of its new In2TV service.
AOL’s No. 1 instant-messaging service — AIM — has 43 million active users. AOL will use that clout, and AOL’s substantial music and video offerings, to compete with the red-hot MySpace, owned by News Corp.
Clicking on a name in a Buddy List, for instance, could take you directly to that person’s personal website.
“It makes perfect sense,” says Charlene Li, analyst at Forrester Research. “The key is making a strong link with AOL Music. Part of the reason MySpace works so well is it has music.”
Google’s and Yahoo’s instant messengers already offer voice. But tech analysts say AIM would quickly become a force in cheap Internet phone calling — a market now led by eBay-owned Skype. The service should roll out in late spring.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.