AOL Flexes Its Branding Muscle

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
1. Discovery Channel
2. The Weather Channel
3. Learning Channel
4. PBS
5. History Channel
7. America Online
8. Fox-TV
9. TVGuide Channel
10. NBC
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.

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