AOL Charges for Premium Content

Mar 28, 2003

AOL Time Warner Inc. has announced that beginning March 31, 2003 it will end free online access to certain magazines. The initiative is in response to the financial struggles of the America Online unit. AOL will continue to allow access to subscribers or to those who purchase the magazine. Initially the restrictions will only apply to People and Entertainment Weekly, but twelve other Time Inc. publications are expected to do the same by the middle of May: Real Simple, In Style, Parenting, Cooking Light, Southern Living, Sports Illustrated For Kids, Time For Kids, Coastal Living, Southern Accents, Self, Teen People, and Sunset magazines. At this time, Sports Illustrated and Time magazines are not expected to restrict access. AOL Time Warner has viewed increased cooperation between the merged companies as vital to increasing customers and improved branding and expects clients to view the new program as a benefit that puts AOL ahead of the competition. AOL Time Warner first announced the shift to restricted access in December 2002.