AOL LOADS SOFTWARE AND ADS ONTO MUSIC CD'S, VHS TAPES, AND LASERDISCS
Dulles, VA /DenounceNewswire/ -- April 26, 1997 -- Boldly marketing where no online service has dared go before, America Online today announced it had secured agreements with all of the major music and film distributors to include AOL advertisements, sponsorship messages, and copies of software on popular music CD's, videotapes, and laser discs.
Beginning next month, all recorded media from Disney, Time Warner, Viacom, BMG Entertainment, PolyGram, and Sony will include advertisements, commentary, and software with an AOL-oriented message.
The latest "3 Tenors" opera CD, for example, includes the voice of Steve Case suddenly appearing in the left stereo channel while Luciano Pavarotti wails away in the right channel. Case, who at times has to shout to be heard over the booming tenor's stirring delivery, asks listeners whether or not they know that there is an opera forum on AOL which they can go to discuss this current musical piece.
Likewise, the rap stars Wu-Tang Clan will be including a plug for AOL on their next CD, to be released next month. Wu-Tang Clan fans will be able to insert their CD into their PC or Macintosh and use the software on the CD to connect to AOL and join the Wu-Tang Clan Fan Club forum online. In turn, Wu-Tang Clan then gets the fan's identity, address, credit card information, and other vital demographic data which it can use for whatever purpose it wants. In addition, AOL gets to sell the information to whatever law enforcement agencies or political parties bid the highest. "It's a win-win-win-screw arrangement," said an AOL spokeswheel. "The band wins, AOL wins, law enforcement wins, and the consumer gets screwed."
AOL will also show up in so-called "Vendor's Cut" versions of movies, both in the soundtrack as well as the visuals. Certain scenes have been re-recorded so that characters now mention AOL in the dialog. Pictures of AOL floppy disks have been digitally inserted into some scenes.
Using words like "leverage" and "partner" as verbs, BMG Entertainment vice senior chief operating president Kevin Conroy said some things in a prepared statement which were too boring to include in this press release. His assistant, who asked to be identified, was not.
"My vision," says Steve Case, chief operating founder of AOL, "is one of the American consumer coming home from a hard day at work, cozing up in front of their TV, popping in an AOL-enhanced DVD, watching a movie, and then clicking on their favorite star to be magically taken to that star's AOL chat room or web site. I envision Americans wasting more time than ever on worthless information that really has no meaning or significance in their lives. As long as we have access to consumers' credit card accounts, and as long as the consumers are fooled into thinking they're happy and satisfied, we're happy and satisfied."
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