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AOL Sees Red

Boot Camp feature for Friday, February 6, 2004

AOL sees Red. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. America Online... .which lost 830 thousand customers in the last quarter is adding a new service called Red... aimed at teenagers. The company hopes teenagers using it will convince their households to stay with either AOL dial-up or broadband services. Malcolm Bird is AOL's senior vice president for kids and teens... .

"And the interesting thing about Red is not only have we designed it and done lots of research and asked teens what they wanted. But also it's the first sort of interface that is totally customizable and programmable by the teen. If you like particularly to have music and I like to have sports... when you log on you can have your music page waiting for you and when I log on I can have my sports page."

What the AOL division of Time Warner is counting on is the ability of teens to influence the Internet service decisions in households... since they are often the ones who spend the most time online...

"The Internet has become the primary source of entertainment for teens. They're actually spending two hours a week longer on the Internet than they are watching television. So now the Internet has become an incredibly important place for teens to communicate with friends, research their homework, entertain themselves."

AOL's industry research says the first thing 21 percent of teens do when they get home from school... is go online to check email and instant message. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.