TWX/AOL Results

If you’re interested to get the details, here’s Yahoo! Finance. You can also read the WSJ (sub req’d) article and David Jackson’s highlights at the Internet Stock Blog/Seeking Alpha. In addition, AOL also formally announced that it would give away email accounts, a free phone number and other services (as has been widely known):

The AOL transition is set to be completed in early September, and the services to be offered for free include e-mail, instant messaging, a local phone number with unlimited incoming calls as well as safety and security features.

According to the WSJ:

After peaking at 26.7 million U.S. subscribers in September 2002, AOL’s subscription base dropped 30% to 18.6 million in March.

The free strategy will likely accelerate the process of subscriber losses. More from the Journal:

Internal company forecasts made public in July indicate Time Warner expects the AOL unit to lose nearly $1 billion of operating profit through 2009 under the plan to offer the online service free. But the company is forecasting that growth in Internet ad revenue will partially offset the expected decline in subscription revenue and ultimately leave the company more profitable.

My view is that AOL has a huge consumer and advertiser opportunity with video given its TimeWarner ownership, its Truveo/SingingFish assets and access to premium content.

There’s also a potential VoIP opportunity with the free “inbound” phone number/VM. If that’s well promoted and easy to use it might help drive later adoption of AOL Total Talk. (Here’s a piece in the NY Times about Verizon and Qwest losing residential landline customers to VoIP.)

Related: Loren Baker covers how YouTube is apparently more “sticky” than MySpace. Here’s the original story that appeared in The Guardian.


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