AOL's Hollywood Shuffle | EW.com

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AOL's Hollywood Shuffle

America Online's marketing strategy for the rest of the '90s

If there’s one way to sum up America Online’s marketing strategy for the rest of the ’90s, it’s this: AOL wants its initials to be as recognizable as, say, NBC or MTV. That, presumably, is why the 7 million-subscriber online service recently moved MTV cofounder Bob Pittman from its board of directors to president of its online division and inked a deal with former NBC wunderkind Brandon Tartikoff to develop a new daily online series, Beggars and Choosers, about the melodramatic goings-on at a flagging TV network. (Tartikoff also plans to turn the property into a movie for Showtime and a title for his imprint at Avon Books.) Says AOL CEO Steve Case, evincing a cockiness worthy of a TV exec, ”We think our future customers are every single consumer in America.”