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The Rise And Fall Of AOL

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At its peak in December 1999, AOL had a market capitalization of $222 billion dollars. Since then, the influx of broadband internet and the burst of the dot-com bubble reduced the one- time internet behemoth to a shadow of its former self. AOL once dominated email, internet connectivity, online news, and chat. AOL couldn't maintain its superior position as subscription and advertising revenue dried up with the shift from dial-up modems to cable broadband. A disastrous merger with Time Warner in 2000 was unwound in 2009. Along the way, AOL tried but failed to buy Facebook, YouTube and a minority stake in Chinese Internet company Tencent, Eventually, AOL to sold to Verizon in 2015 for just $4.4 billion. » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: https://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: https://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: https://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: https://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC #AOL The Rise And Fall Of AOL
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Text Comments (836)
24MiHind (5 hours ago)
Facebook, you're next.
WWTormentor (1 day ago)
I still have and use the same email that I got from aol back in 1991. Anyone from the past thirty years can still find me if they wanted to! Though now it is invaded by spam emails (over 500 a day) I still use it on daily bases.
ThisIsCore (4 days ago)
You ever been so poor that you lived off free AOL Internet CDs 8hrs at a time....
Corey Hann (5 days ago)
AOL's only profitable lifeline left might be the 65+ population that are unaware they're on auto-pay for a dial-up account they no longer use.
jetscreamer212 (6 days ago)
AOL is the internet. Prove me wrong.
Mr Ed (6 days ago)
We live so far in the sticks that folks get their sticks from us. A phone call just a couple miles away was ‘long distance’, and ALL AOL links were not a local call. Our phone carrier didn’t have sufficient customers, and would not sell a local number to AOL. So, we would just use the modem and hook to the closest city that had an access number, get the mail, and sign off, to keep the phone bill down.
Blasko xx (7 days ago)
AOL did nothing of value. But if you had stock and sold it at the right time you made bank
The Rolls Royce Trent (8 days ago)
Now everyone is connected together via their Phone.
The Rolls Royce Trent (8 days ago)
#AOL made the #Internet to be known and became popular.
Shawn Burton (9 days ago)
I remember when I was 17 living in my parents place, I remember they didn't want internet but I did, so I remember having my own computer in my room and AOL would send us CDs inviting us to sign up for a free trial. I got curious about what this whole internet thing, so one night, I ran a phone line from my PC to the nearest phone jack in the kitchen. I remember that first evening staying up all night in chat rooms and whatnot. This was a little while ago, like in August of 2001. Now, it seems like the AOL website still exists, but its not much more than a site where you can set up an e-mail account and read some news articals and thats about it. I don't think they provide internet service anymore.
Me Me (10 days ago)
You have won the victory
Mohd Harif (11 days ago)
Khairuddin... my past time student view I saw a nice computer advice for computer screen especially at cybercafe(heaven)....especially by@at computer product....fomerly dbs&dba student from local college.....
Mohd Harif (11 days ago)
@khairuddin....dear sirs@madam aol&yahoo esp for AOL can nice be publicity by order for computing media....fomerly dbs&dba student from local.....
Luis (12 days ago)
AOL should’ve bought google back then
Stephanie Lane (13 days ago)
my aol screen name's were wonderkids and cowgirl2002g lol
k i (13 days ago)
AOL name was FecesThrower666
thomthum2000 (13 days ago)
You've Got Mail really didn't age all that well.
T Bow (15 days ago)
I thank AIM arguments for my fast and proficient typing skills
Caleb Mandrake (19 days ago)
My roommate & I used to IM each other from our bedrooms cuz we were too lazy to walk across the hallway. We would laugh at how long it took to hear the chime arrive from our IMs.
Ravenna Black (21 days ago)
RIP Rhy'Din and RP in Arts&Entertainment Chatrooms
Maggie Jetson (22 days ago)
This is how being a monopoly kills a giant: they don't want to change.
sfbluestar (22 days ago)
My biggest memory of AOL is the scatching sound when dialing up.
sfbluestar (22 days ago)
Tim Armstrong put the final nail on AOL's coffin. He looks like a homeless in the video; he should be homeless.
PGT Beauregard (26 days ago)
When historians read about Time-Warner with all of its assets, buildings, companies and employees...and then are told that AOL had more capitalization(worth on Wall Street) during a merger, they will assume that someone's is telling a joke. That could never happen...I mean, really???
Sang Kang (1 month ago)
Does anyone remember punching holes in aol floppies and reuse them? I stopped buying floppies when it arrived in mail for free.
melo7849 (1 month ago)
I remember trying to cancel my AOL service, and they wouldn’t let me. So, I changed my debit card info to stop AOL
Jerry Little (1 month ago)
Time Warner was the worst cable system and they destroyed AOL should have never merged with them
Omar Delawar (1 month ago)
Dude I grew up in Germany and even there we’d get tons aol cds mailed to us.
W_A_B_B_I_T (1 month ago)
AOL almost bought YouTube and facebook....
vittorio tortarolo (1 month ago)
I’m still using it!
keb botnet (1 month ago)
yang2020
TheyCallMe Dave (1 month ago)
I used to work for AOL as AOL SMS Consultant. Basically the call center for AOL way back in the Philippines 🤪 Damnn they are very strict with verification before you can change the password.
Utrinique Paratus (1 month ago)
AOHELL, it cost us 1 penny per minute to connect via dial up. That does not sound like a lot but turn those minutes into hours and you soon had a hefty monthly bill.
Amanda Newman (1 month ago)
My aim name was surfergirl1585 and no I did not surf. I didn't even live near the beach 😂😭😂😭😂😭😂
Moist Boner (1 month ago)
I loved AOL. Especially because I never paid for it. Those "30 day (then 90 day and 120 day) free trial" CDs were everywhere.
Ahmad Alhousian (1 month ago)
who is choosing those CEO? they are simply .....
Delilah (1 month ago)
AIM screenname: Kkalisaint
Hector Vasquez (2 months ago)
So is that why I'm unable to login my aol account been trying to login to my old email tells me that it was removed due to inactivity even tho I was active just was no longer able to find my password which holds current Facebook and xbox live account.
William Rowlands (2 months ago)
I still have a AOL email address since 1999. Use it mainly for junk email and spam mail. Use my Gmail address for personal emails with friends, family and co-workers. Same reason I kept a landline phone for telemarketing and robo calls to go to so I can ignore them. Didn't want them coming to my cell phone. Do miss the AOL chat rooms from back in the day...they were fun.
Officially Jesseigh (2 months ago)
Yes I loved it when I was in middle school
Alyssum Ivy (2 months ago)
tim armstrong.... imagine that being the same tim from rancid
Fawkk YuTuu (2 months ago)
AOL era & chat rooms was THE greatest time of the Internet age I don't care what anybody says. Everything was free and pure and just fast enough to be enjoyed. We will never have that kind of freedom online ever again. Internet today is nothing but a prison with no privacy and a cesspool of money hungry censored agenda driven content.
Neozzick Mixes (2 months ago)
I remember playing Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness over the phone line...and it was expensive
aLeX GeNeSiS (2 months ago)
AOL? What is that?
MeccaCali (2 months ago)
0:14 Lol the date on the front page is my birth day
KP바비 KJ (2 months ago)
I have never herd of this until now
Zimuahaha (2 months ago)
I still use my AoL email account.
Markeda Thomas (2 months ago)
Good days "need to do a seagment on web tv
pinkfreud62 (2 months ago)
It always sucked trying to download from Napster via dial up. 30 minute average per song, lol.
Star Butterfly (2 months ago)
Back in 2003, my AOL screenname was Cyberchasefan168. I still have an AOL email, mostly for all the services I signed up for so my primary email doesn't get clogged up.
pinkfreud62 (2 months ago)
Same here - an AOL mail account.
Chad Chaddington (2 months ago)
I remember when they added the celebrity voices for "You got Mail". I chose Madonna as it was the best voice, I wish I could find it.
Katarina G (1 month ago)
Chad Chaddington I chose Bart from The Simpsons.
Rodney Radoll (2 months ago)
rodneyradoll
hi (2 months ago)
AOL is like a vampire taking every company down with it.
Vivian Lee (2 months ago)
I was famousauthor816! What a trip down memory lane :)
Jessica Adjemon (2 months ago)
AOL ... Where LOL came from... #fortheculter
Jessica Adjemon (2 months ago)
AIM now Twitter... Lol... aka the "away" status you left on ur sidekick 😆
kras !! (2 months ago)
me before clicking this video: the rise and fall of WHAT
Gauntletwielder (3 months ago)
AOL died because they stuck with an hourly pricing model when Internet availability came along. Internet Service Providers charged a flat monthly rate. AOL stuck to their pricing plan of charging by the hour. There were people whose monthly AOL bills were *HUNDREDS* of dollars per month. Hundreds of dollars per month vs. a flat rate of less than $100 per month. Very easy decision. And having to go through AOL as a gateway to the Internet, was ridiculous. FWIW, I was an AOL beta tester back in 1989 and 1990 before AOL was publicly available. I received this access because I had a Quantum Link “Overhead” account. AOL was not alone in below average access to the Internet. Microsoft missed the emergence of the Internet back in 1995 when they focused more on Windows 95 than anything else. Microsoft initially offered access to the Internet through their MSN service. 🤮
Caleb Mandrake (19 days ago)
I only had AOL's unlimited plan for $19.95/month.
moshe weisz (3 months ago)
AOL.com
TheAntiEggroll (3 months ago)
This was my AOL screename. Get at me dog
no_one_of_that_name_here (3 months ago)
9:55 mobol? mobawl? moball?
Vegaverse (3 months ago)
What the hell was with that ending LMAO
Sophia Marie (3 months ago)
So AOL bifurcated? Among who and what did they change their name to?
Tekk Luthor (3 months ago)
Mackalot tried to make his name sound like Machiavelli but we know what it really means
ClayZ (3 months ago)
I quit using it ten years ago. I remember spam. You’ve got SPAM!
corinthian129 (3 months ago)
AOL never invested much in its core online service. Into the 2010s it was still using some elements of Q-Link, which dated to 1983. And it had that awful RAINMAN layout system that couldn't even compete with 1995-era HTML and Javascript. Their fancy new versions announced with Super Bowl ads were just hype without substantial improvements. Problems with AOL in 1995 like a lack of security, chat/forum moderation and community control never got addressed. I guess it was always doomed to be crushed by broadband internet, but they didn't do themselves any favor by not even trying to make AOL something that people would continue to pay money for. Users might have signed up due to the marketing, but it couldn't make them stick around. Then they abandoned the original service in 2005 or so... not updated the news or weather or anything, but keeping it up since people were paying for it and they didn't want to lose the revenue stream. It's probably still there now, I connected last year on a lark. There were even a few people in those ancient chat rooms. AOL illustrated where the revenue isn't, in a way... it's not in letting people have fun in chat rooms and neat little communities of strangers, it's not in file downloads or instant messaging, or neat portals. Everything AOL did well is now a bygone thing that didn't generate much money so it's largely vanished from the internet. Even in its heyday, AOL lost money on providing internet access, and was only posting a profit due to advertising, which turned out to be a lot of smoke and mirrors since they were desperate to post a lot of on-paper ad sales without the technology to get big companies to pay big money for ads. AOL is such a weird story, and you couldn't cast a guy better than Steve Case to have been in charge of it.
Roary Calhoun426 (3 months ago)
DAMNED SHAME THE AOL cd's AREN'T AROUND ANYMORE. 😣😣😣 i could use a new set of coasters about now. ☺☺☺🙂🙂🙂☺☺☺
Chisaten (3 months ago)
Maybe because of being homeschooled, I really didn't use the internet for much outside of researching for essays. My mother had to convince me to get a Gmail account, and I did that late enough that my first three ideas were already taken. 🤣
SilverStrumer (3 months ago)
AoL started out as video game company..wow!
moshe weisz (3 months ago)
AOL.com
Malcolm Abram (3 months ago)
I used AOL online until I changed to BT broadband nearly 20 years ago. Despite completing my contract they couldnt connect with repeated requests to close my account and just kept sending me bills and threatening letters. I literally gave up trying to communicate with the barstewards. Apparently this was company policy for which they were censored in two States. I probably 'owe' them 1000s now. Disgusting, odious, trash of a company.
Mark Frieser (3 months ago)
wnfreeze
WoT Blitz Shandei (3 months ago)
I'm a Google generation... Never know A. O. L
Abhrajit Paul (3 months ago)
4:21 Netflix in its younger days
Encontrol (3 months ago)
Data is beautiful brought me here
casanova2469 (3 months ago)
Damn. The ones that got the modern world rolling is coming to an end. RIP to you guys. Ya'll deserve mad respect. But be proud of Facebook. Lol
Soumyo Mookerji (3 months ago)
I had personally met Tim A. when he joined AOL in 2009. And the conclusion was I ended up having a big crush with his assistant especially her blue eyes. Boy quite a beauty!!! Now my screenname, well I was since an employee of AOL thus and I still check mails “soumyamookerji”. Jejejeje
Captain Obvious (3 months ago)
I hated AOL with a passion. I regarded it as the worst excuse for a service in the history of the known universe. Yet at the same time, I didn't want to leave, it was something I was used too.
Calvin Chu (3 months ago)
oh my gosh i miss AIM, so many great conversations...all lost now...lost contacts with a lot of friends as well
Tee Tee (3 months ago)
Found an AOL floppy disk cleaning my bestie grandie house....
Smartkid2387 (3 months ago)
AOL was my life in my teenage years. I still remember my AIM screen name. Funny enough my mom still uses it and I know older people who still faithful users of AOL
Tyler Sheehy (3 months ago)
Welcome you got out dated. Web tool
Duy Le (4 months ago)
A/S/L??
david mehta (4 months ago)
I still have a few AOL diskettes, can't bear to throw them out.
Daniel Amade (4 months ago)
I live in Chile. Southern Chile, not too far of the southern sea and the south pole. And even I have like 8 Aol disks.
Alastor (4 months ago)
Back then floppy disks used to cost a lot. I always loved getting those disks in the mail because you just delete their program and then have a free floppy disk.
Kevin Z (4 months ago)
When AOL bought Time Warner in 2000, I was in Singapore and already using broadband. So I was a bit puzzled and shocked what's the big deal about a dial-up service... it's actually a good showcase of how lagged behind US technology infrastructure was. AOL should always have been... worthless.
Legal Alien (4 months ago)
AOL Teen Chat was my life from 2000-2003. Than I went on to Tagged MySpace and Facebook
Drake (4 months ago)
all left wing news
wayan subagiartha (4 months ago)
707 ✋
Jellybean (4 months ago)
I worked for Warner Bros when AOL took over and it was horrible. AOL insisted we use AOL mail instead of MS Outlook. Every time we printed an email a pop up message would come up asking us if we wanted to buy printer supplies. That lasted for about 5 months until were able to switch back to Outlook. Just because you built a successful internet company, doesn't mean you suddenly can run a Media Conglomerate. One of the worst mergers in history!!!
cell pat (4 months ago)
Like "video killed the radio star" "broadband killed the dialup star"
Asa Frye (4 months ago)
8:08
Woland (4 months ago)
I never - i.e. NEVER - give no stinking aol my credit card for automatic payment. That's why I was never this scam's victim.
Sonic Mobian (4 months ago)
I was one of many who signed up for AOL in the past.
Renton Sad Boy (5 months ago)
Company is full of crap if you haven't got a Facebook account you can't criticize anything they say and very biased racist and one-sided political views come out of the news media now
Prof. M. Otto Zeee JCD ECS (5 months ago)
It was ahead of the pack... and then bad management happened, just like NOKIA! If the head-honcho has no vision, i.e. like a lawyer running a business, newcomers overtake you! there are sooo many examples.
Brendan (5 months ago)
I was an intern at Oath last summer. It was an interesting experience but I’m kind of glad I didn’t come back this year lol
SALOMON LEA (5 months ago)
No more WCW on TNT 😢
DarlnDar (5 months ago)
I ***STILL*** love it!! ;)
Maveric073 (5 months ago)
Damn. I feel like this was just yesterday.