AOL Users Look Forward to Enhanced Services

While critics dissect the reasons why the pending America Online Inc./Time Warner Inc. merger should not go through, AOL subscribers are eager to see improvements to connectivity and content, according to a new study.

The study, released this week by Greenfield Online and The Myers Group, found that AOL subscribers overall hope that the merger will lead to a plethora of entertainment, information and high-speed access.

Here’s what users wish for the most:

High Speed Access to the Net 90%
Telephone Services via the Net 50%
Downloading Movies and TV Shows 48%
Downloading Music 43%
Internet Access Through TV 47%
Wireless Access to Internet
from Handheld

The survey was based on responses from 1,000 Internet users, conducted
between Jan. 21-26. The merger between AOL (AOL)
and Time Warner (TWE)
was announced on January 10, and is worth about $350 billion.

The merger will combine Time Warner’s media, entertainment and news brands
in addition to its advanced broadband delivery systems with America Online’s
Internet franchises and technology, including some consumers’ favorite
online brands, as well as
unmatched e-commerce capabilities. The agreement also allows Time Warner to
combine its Road Runner cable Internet service
with AOL, the largest ISP on the Web.

The level of interest in enhanced services was highest among those age 35
and younger and the more affluent, said Stan Simon, Greenfield Online vice
president for entertainment client development.

“The Time Warner/AOL deal has been a catalyst for the expanded consumer
interest in interactive television services,” added Jack Myers, chairman and
chief economist for The Myers Group. “The research confirms that consumers
have a sophisticated understanding of how business economics and technology
are impacting on their access to new media opportunities.”

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