Online sales grew by more than 30% in the fourth quarter, but store sales slid by 6.1% year over year.
America Online's acquisition of Time Warner will put the combined compay in position to target 80% of online adults, says a study by Cyber Dialogue, New York. That includes 26.8 million Time Warner cable TV viewers who are already online but not current AOL subscribers.
Already, the Time Warner audience spends an average of $2,200 per year on Web-related purchases, $300 more than average AOL users, says Cyber Dialogue analyst Idil Cakim. "AOL will benefit significantly from the merger if it can convert those valuable Time Warner Cable viewers into AOL subscribers and attract their e-commerce dollars."
AOL users who watch Time Warner Cable channels spend more ($2,105) than users who do not watch these channels ($1,463). Time Warner cable viewers who do not subscribe to AOL spend more per year ($1,903) than the average AOL subscriber ($1,521).
"The Internet provides the new mega-media enterprise with the opportunity to speak directly to its audience, understand its preferences, and target small but valuable user groups," Cakim says. The cable network provides "a vehicle for distributing content on a mass scale. Following the acquisition, AOL/Time Warner will be well-positioned to reach, communicate, and interact with its online audience members through richer content both online and offline"