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Revamp could see AOL stop carrying advertising

NEW YORK - America Online could stop carrying advertising and focus on offering games and auctions, as its parent company AOL Time Warner prepares to unveil a revamp of the internet service company today.

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AOL Time Warner is looking at how to revive the fortunes of America Online, and keep increasing its subscriber base. According to reports, it will shift its emphasis away from advertising and look at offering new services including games and auctions. It will also attempt to use broadband to boost its subscriber numbers.

Board directors of AOL Time Warner will hear plans for the service at a meeting to be held in New York.

This week, the company axed 90 people from its interactive marketing group and it has already said that it will eliminate third-party pop-ups from its pages.

As internet advertising has proven to be far less lucrative than first expected, internet service companies such as Yahoo! have shifted their revenue bases from an advertising model to offering other services.

America Online is likely to draw on the entertainment assets of its parent company, which owns some of the world's biggest movie properties such as the 'Harry Potter' and 'Lord of the Rings' franchises. According to the Financial Times, it has been having extensive discussions with CNN and HBO, and plans to launch a music service call MusicNet, which provides songs from major record labels.

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