A brief experiment: So it’s true. The LA Times (and others) reports that content from magazines published by Time Inc. will appear free online only for AOL subscribers. Along with that announcement is the unveiling of a new strategy that allows web-users to subscribe to AOL content only (cleverly described as a BYOA product – bring your own access), a means for the company to retain relationships with AOL subscribers who want to switch to a non-AOL broadband provider.
I will be blogging more on why I think this AOL-Time experiment will be short-lived. However, I do believe that if I were running the “business” of AOL-Time, I could have connected the obvious dots and come to the same conclusion. However, this decision does not take into account the dynamic response of a marketplace when the customer knows more about the product than the producer does.
Just watch this development to learn what the expression “unintended consequences” means. More later.