- Summary: Time Warner Inc.'s AOL unit announced that it will launch an online video portal containing video search and free and paid videos. Paid programming will come from cable channels MTV, Nickelodeon and A&E, while users will be able to upload videos for free viewing. "Company executives regard video as a cornerstone of [its free content] strategy and in March started a site featuring free reruns of vintage television programs, including "Chico and the Man" and "Wonder Woman." Called In2TV, the service drew about 1.8 million unique visitors in April, its first full month of operation, according to AOL.
- Comment on related stocks/ETFs: AOL has gone through a complete mind shift about linking out to external content and providing free content on the Web, and now seems focused on providing a great user experience regardless of who's content it points to. But the jury is out on whether this will be financially successful for Time Warner and whether it will benefit its stock (TWX). Note also that CNN just announced that it would boost its citizens' journalism initiative by allowing users to upload news-related audio and video.
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