It sounds just as ridiculous as it is. AOL used the entire world’s CD production for a few weeks in 1998. That means not a single music CD, software CD, or any other kind of CD was made during that whole time.
There were so many people receiving these CDs that even those who used AOL already were getting them. Amazingly, before this happened, AOL’s logo was already on 50% of the CDs produced worldwide.
The statistics show it actually helped, too. Before AOL 4.0, there were about 8 million members, and one year later there were 16 million. Those days have long since gone, though, as AOL is gradually fading from the public eye as a booming business.
Last April, AOL announced its plans to sell and license patents to Microsoft for $1.056 billion. Since 2001, its subscribers have dropped from 25 million to less than 4 million.