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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

News from NET and COM '99

  • AOL Japan to Distribute CD-ROMs at Movie Theaters
  • February 8, 1999 (TOKYO) — AOL Japan Inc. aims to attract more female members by distributing CD-ROMs with a women’s magazine and in certain movie theaters.
    It began distributing CD-ROMs attached to Oggi magazine for women published by Shogakukan Inc., the first time a CD-ROM has been attached to a women’s magazine.

    Additionally, AOL in February will distribute CD-ROMs at movie theaters showing the film “You’ve Got Mail,” a love story in which AOL plays an important role in linking characters played by actor Tom Hanks and actress Meg Ryan, who also appeared together in the romantic comedy “Sleepless in Seattle.”

    “The type of online service users is apparently changing. Especially after Apple Japan Inc. released the iMac, people who have no experience using a PC have become new users. We want to catch them as our members,” said AOL Japan President Hidemaru Sato.

    The ratio of female membership to the total is 31.3 percent, higher than that of other providers. Also, the number of members last December increased by 27,000, higher than any other providers, said Sato.

    One of the reasons AOL Japan is targeting females is that existing providers traditionally focus on family members rather than females since large-size providers such as Nifty Serve of Nifty Corp. and Biglobe of NEC Corp. get new members more effectively by targeting existing members’ families. However, as AOL Japan’s membership is different, it had to target other types of users.

    AOL’s membership is just over 210,000, much less than Nifty Serve and Biglobe.

    AOL Japan reportedly continues to target females because an increase of female membership will lead to an increase of male members attracted by them.

    Related story: AOL Japan’s Membership Tops 200,000

    (Nikkei Personal Computing)

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