If you lived in the United States in the 1990s, you remember these AOL discs. They started as 3.5-inch floppies and transitioned into CDs.
If nothing else, it was ingenious marketing for AOL. While people eventually started bitching about getting spammed by the discs, most of those people probably also installed them at least once and checked out the service. Free AOL discs were virtually inescapable, thanks to AOL’s aggressive use of unsolicited direct mailing and the company’s efforts to get them in free bins at stores and public places everywhere.
Over $300 million , 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
When AOL launched AOL 4.0 in 1998, AOL used ALL of the world-wide CD production for several weeks. Think of that. Not a single music CD or Microsoft CD was produced during those weeks. AOL discs, were soon popping up everywhere. On airplane seats. In cereal boxes. They were willing to experiment with almost any partner. AOL spent $300 million on CDs, according to Jan Brandt AOL’s ex-marketing boss. At one point AOL logo was printed on 50% of all CDs produced worldwide.