For years AOL has been a closed and proprietary system, for members only. However, AOL is planning to release some of its content to the public internet. Why? 1) AOL can get increased advertising revenue (I guess Yahoo, Google, and other online properties have been a beacon) 2) By letting users taste AOL content they might (just might ) want to be subscribers.
USA Today reads Since its launch nearly 20 years ago, America Online has remained the No. 1 Internet service provider largely by offering exclusive content to members only.
But in a major strategy shift, the struggling Time Warner unit plans to publish a growing portion of its news, sports, music and other content on the open Internet, making it available to any online user, AOL executives say.
The strategy, which has started to a limited degree, is a nod to continuing defections of millions of AOL’s dial-up subscribers to high-speed Internet providers and discount dial-up services. Fewer pay an extra $15 for AOL content in addition to a phone or cable broadband subscription. (full story)