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AOL rounds up more content

AOL strengthens ties with magazine publisher Hachette Filipacchi that will bring the online service new, exclusive content.

America Online (AOL) today strengthened ties with magazine publisher Hachette Filipacchi, which will bring the online service new, exclusive content.

Hachette Filipacchi is the publisher of a slew of consumer magazines including John Kennedy Jr.'s political monthly George, the fashion magazine Elle, and Car and Driver.

The agreement expands upon AOL's existing relationship with the company, which already provides more than two dozen consumer magazines, articles, and other content to AOL.

It is the second publishing deal struck by the company this week. Tuesday, AOL and the New York Times announced plans to bring new exclusive offerings to AOL's 8 million members.

Both deals follow AOL's move late last year to dump pay-as-you-go pricing for a flat $19.95 monthly rate. The decision prompted the company to revamp its relationship with the news organizations and magazines that provide content to the service. In the past, AOL paid the newspaper and magazine publishers based on how much time its subscribers spent reading the articles. Under the new framework the Dulles, Virginia-based company plans to seek more exclusive content from fewer publishers.

The announcement caused some publishers to flee AOL and devote themselves to their own Web sites. However, this week's announcements indicate that AOL is consolidating its new roster of news and magazine content.

Top Model, Popular Photography, Mirabella, Road & Track, Woman's Day, Home, Metropolitan Home, Stereo Review, Car Stereo Review, Boating, Cycle World/Big Twin, Woman's Day Specials, Family Life, Video, and Flying--which are all Hachette Filipacchi magazines--have signed over exclusive online rights to AOL.

George, Elle, Premiere, and Car & Driver will continue to operate their own Web sites. Yet they will also produce original content not found on their sites or anywhere else. The publications will promote AOL on their sites and have agreed not to work with other Internet service providers, the company said.

Exclusive coverage for the online service will include daily automotive reports, weekly polls, numerology, and trivia games, as well as live political and entertainment coverage, the company said.