Friday, July 22, 2005

Is AOL Waking Up to its Potential?

David Cohen, a senior manager at McCann International wrote his mid-year projection for interactive marketing on ClickZ Network.

If his projections are right, all of us in marketing will have a powerful new medium to reach a huge and very targetable audience. You be the judge. Is David on the mark with this one?

"One of the biggest things to watch during the second half of the year will be America Online's new strategic positioning. Many of us have said for years that is the most underutilized asset on the Web. It appears AOL finally got that message, loud and clear. After years of defending its stance on creating unique and compelling content (for AOL subscribers only), they appear to be making a big, bold move onto the wide-open Web. Arguing subscribers come to AOL for many reasons besides content (a safe environment with advanced parental controls, spam filters, virus protection, etc.) AOL will open all their content to the Internet sometime this summer.

This could have significant marketplace implications. With ample promotion, could grow into a reach powerhouse. That will give MSN and Yahoo! a run for their money. Additionally, it will add a host of new inventory to the marketplace. That should help modestly drive costs down across the big three portals, and beyond. Most notably, it increases the supply of the most sought after inventory for mass advertisers: homepage real estate and streaming video. The jury is still out on how's story plays out (AOL has historically had a knack for messing things up). From what I've seen, I'm pretty confident the move will be excellent both for AOL and the overall industry."

Take a look at the other projections that David offers in his mid-year summary.


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