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Of pricing and products: A New Business Model for AOL

Nothing defines a company like the business model on which it is based. That's why 2006 will go down as the year AOL adopted a new MO based on advertising. Subscription service remained available for dial-up members. (And it still is.) But as of August, for consumers with a broadband Internet connection, the best of AOL became available — on the house. Making the announcement, Time Warner's President and COO Jeff Bewkes, summed it up: "You've got Mail—for free!"

Now, instead of developing proprietary software, AOL is focused on implementing open architectures that allow consumers and developers to create their own online experiences. The company is monetizing at scale, creating the industry's fastest growing advertising network. And, making the transition from a marketing-driven to a product-driven company, AOL is generating a new wave of innovation…everything from Web launches of our trademark safety and security features to the premier of hot destinations like, The DL, and AOL Video. And there's more to come from the minds of AOL employees, who can't wait to make history in 2007.

AOL Opens Up to Developers

In the spirit of Web 2.0, AOL started 2006 by inviting developers to help themselves to technologies that used to be strictly secret. And they took us up on it. The new site that houses the APIs for Open AIM, AOL Video, Userplane, MapQuest, AIM Phoneline, Web AIM, Winamp, AOL Pictures, AOL Music Now, and AIM Pages had more than 406,000 hits in the first two weeks of its life.

The New AOL Gets Moving with OpenRide

If anything represents the new AOL, it's OpenRide. To begin with, the development process was new — involving total collaboration with consumers. The intended audience was new, too, reaching beyond AOL's traditional base to include Internet users everywhere. And its design is certainly new: OpenRide features a unique quad-pane user interface that allows users to e-mail, IM, browse, search, and enjoy their favorite media — all from the same screen.

Mark Burnett and AOL Strike Gold

What would make more than 8 million people visit a Web site more than 12 million times in just six weeks? A Gold Rush! That was the name of the landmark, interactive reality game created by Mark Burnett Productions and AOL. A dozen competitors won a share of over $2 million. And the traffic metrics proved that the producers and sponsors of the event were winners too.

Corporate Benchmarks

"America Online" becomes "AOL" and "Inc." becomes "LLC" to create a brand new name

Randy Falco becomes CEO and Ron Grant becomes AOL's new President and COO

With seven new licensing deals, Princess Natasha becomes the belle of Zoravia and AOL

AOL becomes the first major ISP to take on identity thieves under the nation's first anti-phishing law

GameDaily, Userplane, Lightningcast, and the Relegence join the AOL family

AOL receives the AAF's Corporate Leader Award for diversity in-house and in the marketplace

AOL wins the WPEO Done Deals™ Challenge for its support for women-owned businesses

Moviefone publishes the "Daily Connect" and fields a team of "good deed doers" to assist attendees at the Sundance Film Festival

MapQuest distribution gets a lift from Time Warner Retail Sales and Marketing

AOL welcomes more high-speed users in deals with Covad Communications Group, Inc. and Clearwire, Inc.

AOL and Brightcove bring win-win third-party video distribution to the Net

AOL tightens its workforce by nearly 5,000 employees worldwide during the transition to the new "free" business model

AOL joins other online industry leaders to support advanced technologies at the Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Consumer Experience

AOL provides Web users 5 GB of free online "self-storage"

AOL's safety and security features become available on the Net

My eAddress makes Internet users rulers of their own domains

It's all aboard for OpenRide - the new, free AOL software

AOL begins to notify users that they will soon experience "The New AOL"

Closed captioning spells accessibility for CNN video on AOL

Super Bowl ads are viewed 41 million times during this year's Super Sunday Ad Poll

AOL's new Chinese language portal is born in the Year of the Dog

Video fanatics find a new home at AOL Video

AOL Pictures focuses on social networking with public galleries

Tegic brings text messaging full circle with the introduction of T-9 text output

Winamp amps it up with new Dashboard and Remote features

The new Route Builder becomes MapQuest's #1-requested feature

AIM Phoneline is first to offer a free local phone number + voicemail

AIM Pro becomes part of enterprise solutions at work

Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Wedding Crashers receive the most nominations in the Annual Moviefone Movie Goer Awards

More than 2.5 million votes are cast in the annual CityGuide "City's Best" program

225,000 watch the live Webcast of the TopCoder World Championship from

AOL cranks up the volume on Music Now, the first subscription service to offer unlimited plays and downloads

General Internet Milestones

There are 100,000,000 Web sites in 2006, up from 18,000 just 11 years ago

12,000,000 American adults are keeping blogs; 57 million are reading them

Internet ad revenue reaches new quarterly high @ $4.2 billion in Q3

Video streams in the US hit 7 billion per month

The next generation of the Internet has begun, and it's called "Web 2.0"