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AOL Commissions Two Research Studies To Help Determine Driving Forces Behind Online Content Consumption

Sep 29, 2010

Chairman & CEO Tim Armstrong to Discuss What These Findings Mean to Advertisers and Brand Marketers


What: Helping to move the digital industry forward, AOL, in partnership with Nielsen and Data & Management Counsel, commissioned two industry studies to help identify determining factors that influence consumers' choices when it comes to consuming online content.

Key findings:

1) Brands and authors matter as people digest online content;
2) People weigh trust and credibility as the most important factors when seeking online content;
3) People accept online advertising as a form of content when it provides an integrated experience.

Research highlights include:

• People spend 84% of their online time on a "Core Mix" of Web sites with the remaining 16% spent trialing new sites.*
• 75% of the Core Mix is constantly changing.*
• People's behaviors are driven by trust and quality of content as they build site loyalty which involves frequency of content updates, usefulness of content, depth and breadth of content availability and authors.*
• People find new content through self-guided discovery (ie searching through a portal or going to a Web site directly), whereas, at this time, social media does not seem to be a key factor in the discovery process.*
• People are most concerned with getting access to content and finding content that is timely when they begin to engage or "trial" content.*
• The most acceptable forms of online advertising to the consumer are those that are directly relevant, integrated and informative as well as have visually appealing imagery.**

Who: AOL's Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong and industry analyst Jack Myers will discuss the research findings at Advertising Week.

When: Wednesday, September 29, 11:00am –11:45am at the Times Center Theater, 242 West 41st Street

Where: Find the full research results on the AOL Advertising trade site,

* Findings from The Nielsen Company study. In August 2010, Nielsen surveyed more than 2,000 Nielsen Online Panel members about their attitudes towards content consumption.

** Findings from the Data & Management Counsel, Inc. study: One thousand surveys were conducted among consumers via an online national panel between August 11-17, 2010. In addition, 12 focus groups were conducted among Consumers in four markets as well as in-depth interviews conducted among Advertising Professionals and Content Producers.

For additional information on AOL's content research, contact:
Diedre Ayers, 212-652-6355, or Caroline Campbell, 917-6060-4772,