In its latest move to overhaul its financial services, America Online today announced a linking deal with investment news Web site TheStreet.com to provide financial analysis and live events to AOL subscribers.
Under the agreement, TheStreet.com will deliver financial news, commentary, and analysis through AOL's Personal Finance Channel otherwise accessible only through TheStreet.com Web site. AOL members who want to access all of TheStreet.com's financial features will receive a 20 percent discount on subscriptions to TheStreet.com's site, normally $99.95 per year, according to the companies.
America Online, the leading online service with more than 11 million members, has formed many alliances in the last year, ostensibly to offer users more value but also as an additional revenue stream. Most recently, AOL ramped up its financial services offerings through deals with Standard & Poor's and Bloomberg.
AOL faces stiff competition for loyal eyeballs from the likes of Web-based search engines-cum-content sites such as Yahoo and Excite as well as Web-based online services such as Snap, by CNET: The Computer Network, which also publishes NEWS.COM. The online giant announced in February that it would be raising its monthly charges from the industry standard $19.95 per month to $21.95 per month, as of this month's billing cycle.
To launch AOL's latest deal, TheStreet.com's cofounder Jim Cramer will conduct a live AOL chat this afternoon to discuss the current market and his investing strategies.
Certain features from TheStreet.com will be available through the keyword TheStreet at AOL, and in AOL's Active Trader and Investment Forums areas when they launch in several weeks. Some of these free features include Cramer's popular Wrong columns, market update stories throughout the day by Senior Financial Columnist Herb Greenberg and Editor-in-Chief Dave Kansas, as well as daily reporting on mutual funds and options. These features will appear on AOL's Personal Finance Channel only after they have already appeared on TheStreet.com's site.
Along with today's live chat to launch the deal, Cramer and other financial analysts will participate in live AOL chats once a month. A rotating roster of TheStreet staff reporters and editors will also participate in regular weekly chats. Eventually, AOL said these chats will be held on a daily basis, giving its members the ability to get the latest insight on developing market stories.