Remember all those CD-ROMs you used to get for free from dial-up Internet service providers? AOL executives revealed this week that they spent a whopping $300 million on creating and distributing these discs.
Case says that he doesn’t remember the total amount spent on the discs specifically, but says that in the early 1990s, AOL’s goal was to spend 10 percent of lifetime revenue to get a new subscriber. He says that since the average subscriber life was around 25 months, revenue was about $350 off of each of these users. So he guesses they probably spent about $35 per user on things such as these discs.
Jan Brandt, AOL’s former Chief Marketing Officer has now weighed in as well:
Over $300 million :-) At one point, 50% of the CD’s produced worldwide had an AOL logo on it. We were logging in new subscribers at the rate of one every six seconds