AOL Flexes Its Branding Muscle
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America Online has surpassed established television networks such as Fox, NBC, and USA Networks to become one of the most powerful media brands in the US, according to a survey by media research firm The Myers Group.
The Myers Media Brand Tracker survey found that, among males, only two television networks -- The Discovery Channel and The Weather Channel -- ranked higher than AOL (AOL) in the study. The survey measures media brand equity among 70 major television network and online brands, and is based on surveys of 6,500 cable/satellite households that rated 26 media brand attributes.
"What consumers feel about these brands has profound implications for advertisers and investors," said Jack Myers, CEO of The Myers Group. "Stronger media brands offer potential for a stronger return on investment. The performance of AOL and the cable brands are proving that."
With AOL, in particular, Myers said the brand is so strong that the company could successfully extend its brand into any number of offline ventures, an area where the "Big Three" networks may have missed the boat.
|Most Powerful Media Brands in US|
|2.||The Weather Channel|
|Source: The Myers Group|
"The reason online and niche brands are so powerful is that they're not limited to one medium," Myers said. "In an overcrowded electronic media marketplace, brand equity is a new form of currency. With fragmentation of the media market, those brands with positive equity will be the ones that advertisers, distributors, and investors will most value."
Media brands are also of increasing importance because they are increasing in usage. The Communications Industry Forecast (CIF) by Veronis, Suhler & Associates reports that Americans will spend just under 10 hours per day consuming various forms of media by 2003. That is nearly half an hour more than they spent in 1998. The Internet, however, will account for just 5.4 percent of this total.
The CIF also found that the eyeballs are spending more time with consumer-supported media, such as cable television and the Internet, and are spending less time with advertiser-supported such as broadcast television and radio
Over the last five years, the time spent with media that are primarily supported by consumers (cable television, recorded music, consumer books, home video, movies, video games, and the Internet) increased 42.3 percent, or 378 hours. In contrast, the time spent with media supported primarily by advertisers (broadcast television, radio, daily newspapers, and consumer magazines) fell by 247 hours, or 10.2 percent.
By 2003, the CIF predicts time spent with consumer-supported media are forecast to grow an additional 30.7 percent, or 385 hours. Once again, this increase will come at the expense of advertiser-supported media, 10.3 percent or 224 hours.