AOL Confirms It Will Launch Free Service in UK

AOL Europe
confirmed Monday that it will launch a new subscription-free
service, Netscape Online, to complement its AOL and CompuServe
brands in the UK.

The launch is scheduled for mid-August this
year.


“One of the great advantages of AOL Europe is that we are a
multiple-brand company, so we can successfully match our brand
offerings to all significant market segments in every country
we serve,” said Andreas Schmidt, president and CEO of AOL
Europe.


“The launch of Netscape Online for the ‘value’ market will
complement our full-featured, premium AOL brand for the mainstream,
family market and CompuServe brand for the professional market.”


Schmidt said that he believes this method will bring in the critical mass necessary
to generate substantial advertising and commerce revenues, while allowing a low-cost, reliable and expandable
infrastructure.”


AOL sees what it calls a “newly-emerging value market” in the
UK — and aims to capture a large share of it. It will offer
high performance Internet access backed with the Netscape
browser and AOL Instant Messenger 2.0.


“The Netscape brand is virtually synonymous with the development
of the Internet as a consumer medium,” said AOL UK managing director
David Phillips.


“Netscape Online will bring the best interactive experience possible
to this emerging value-oriented market segment and will fully
complement the AOL and CompuServe brands in the UK.”


David Phillips went on to say that the free-access consumer was
more likely to be male, young, and single than AOL UK’s core audience.
Such a consumer is happy to have an alternative to the standard,
easy-to-use service which is preferred by family users, said Phillips.


For users of its main service, AOL will introduce its next-generation
client, AOL 5.0, in the UK later in the year.


AOL Europe is a joint partnership between America Online and
Bertelsmann AG.

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