Time Warner has decided to offer AOL content effectively for free ‘to broadband users. You can read the full announcement here.
On the face of it, it seems like a significant announcement. I guess offering free @aol.com email is, because actually that’s AOL letting go of people who stay only to keep their email address.
It looks like the rest of the deal, like the content and chat, will continue to be available by a special AOL client. I guess that’s why I don’t think this is quite as big as it seems.
I can’t see non-AOL users deciding to download a special client to view a bunch of quasi-proprietary content when they have a browser and the ability to access any website at their disposal.
For this to be really successful, and significant, AOL need to make their proprietary offering into something accessible by bog-standard web browsers.