AOL Struggles With Free Or Fee On Content

from the not-so-hard... dept

Almost exactly two years ago, AOL decided to start blocking off content from the free web, and put it behind the walled garden to get people to pay. It wasn’t hard to predict that this wasn’t going to work very well — especially when it was difficult to differentiate the content from what was already available for free. Even in cases where the content was good, there’s still so much competition, that people will avoid paying just to read a few sites. There are simply too many other alternatives for anyone’s attention to make it worth paying. Two years ago, as AOL was going in the other direction, plenty of people knew it was going to be a disaster. So, it’s absolutely no surprise that there’s (yet another) internal struggle going on at AOL about whether the content should be free or not. The fact that plenty of other big name sites are raking in the advertising dollars, while AOL is losing customers at an amazing pace, suggests which model is making the most sense these days.

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