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During the early 1990s, the average subscription lasted for about 25 months and accounted for 0 in total revenue.
Advertisements invited modem owners to "Try America Online FREE", promising free software and trial membership.
This is commonly referred to as the "Eternal September", as Usenet's cycle of new users was previously dominated by smaller numbers of college and university freshmen gaining access in September and taking a few weeks to acclimate.
This also coincided with a new "carpet bombing" marketing campaign by CMO Jan Brandt to distribute as many free trial AOL trial disks as possible through nonconventional distribution partners.
Over the next several years, AOL launched services with the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, National Geographic, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, Pearson, Scholastic, ASCD, NSBA, NCTE, Discovery Networks, Turner Education Services (CNN Newsroom), NPR, The Princeton Review, Stanley Kaplan, Barron's, Highlights for Kids, the U. Department of Education, and many other education providers.
Kimsey soon began to groom Case to take over the role of CEO, which he did when Kimsey retired in 1991.
The Quantum Link software was based on software licensed from Play Net, Inc, (founded in 1983 by Howard Goldberg and Dave Panzl).
In January 1983, Steve Case was hired as a marketing consultant for Control Video on the recommendation of his brother, investment banker Dan Case.
In May 1983, Jim Kimsey became a manufacturing consultant for Control Video, which was near bankruptcy.
Its sole product was an online service called Game Line for the Atari 2600 video game console, after von Meister's idea of buying music on demand was rejected by Warner Bros.