AOL set to roll out new services
Report says AOL's new video search, phone call services are its bid to fight back growing competition from Skype, Google and others.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - America Online is set to roll out major new services in the coming months that include a new video search offering and a "voice platform" for its popular instant-messaging service, AIM, according to a published report Monday.
In an interview with USA Today, AOL's CEO Jonathan Miller said the new features should give the company more clout in competing in key Internet battlegrounds by effectively taking on teen-networking site MySpace and voice powerhouse Skype and others.
At the same time, AOL, which is part of the online division of Time Warner Inc. (Research), is also trying to keep pace with rivals Google (Research), Yahoo (Research) and Microsoft (Research) as it shifts from a subscriber model to an advertising strategy, Miller told the paper.
"Job one is to make sure we're part of that group," Miller was quoted in the report as saying.
Time Warner is also the parent company of CNNMoney.com.
This week, AOL will begin integrating video search from Truveo, but the big push comes in mid-March when 14,000 Warner Bros.-owned classic TV shows become available online for free and supported by ads as part of its new In2TV service, the paper said.
Shows include "Welcome Back Kotter," "Kung Fu" and "Battlestar Gallactica."
The company also told the paper that it plans to use its popular AIM service and its substantial music and video offerings to compete with News Corp.'s MySpace. It should roll out in about eight weeks, the report said.
Miller also said in the report that AIM "will be a full voice platform -- competitive with Skype."
Google and Yahoo's instant messengers already offer voice, the paper said. However, tech analyst say AIM would quickly become a force in cheap Internet phone calling -- a market now led by eBay-owned Skype. According to the report, this service should roll out in late spring.
The report added that Miler also plans to open AIM to outside software developers, for instance, to create a tool that would allow its users to chat with users of other messaging services.
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