America Online Inc., which expects online ad revenue to slip 40 percent to 50 percent this year, will sell advertisements on its welcome and sign-off screens as part of an attempt to shore up the bottom line.
The ads will run in a corner of the welcome screen, the home page for AOL subscribers. By contrast, the ads on the sign-off page will be bolder, occupying the entire window with promotions.
The decision by the AOL Time Warner company, comes three months after AOL said it would discontinue third-party pop-up ads to stem user discontent.
Ads have appeared on and off on the home page for the past three to four weeks. They will become a permanent feature of the landscape in March. The ads on the sign-off page kick off in the next six to eight weeks.