AOL’s Self-Help Program

    January 3, 2005

America Online announced the launch of the AOL Coaches program powered by Better Life Media, featuring a series of top-selling authors.

The new life-improvement experience available on AOL and will debut with a roster of coaches including Jean Chatzky, Stephen Covey, Jorge Cruise, John Gray and Tom Peters. The area was created through a strategic partnership with Better Life Media, a multi-media company that represents a range of life-improvement experts and in turn provides tools, ideas and advice that consumers can use to help enrich their personal and professional lives.

The launch of the Better Life Coaches program complements and addresses an ongoing, strong consumer interest in self-help resources. According to a recent survey by Marketdata Enterprises, the total self-improvement market in 2003 was estimated to be worth $8.5 billion while the sale of self-help books for that same year was valued at $640 million, up from $621 million in 2002. The same survey projected a 7.9% yearly growth in the category through 2008, bringing its value to $11.9 billion four years from now.

In addition to overall consumer interest in the category, AOL members specifically helped prompt the launch of this new area through a strong response to both self-help resources, as well as in AOL online services that help them better manage their daily lives. In November of this year, AOL showcased Stephen Covey’s latest book, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness (Simon & Schuster, 2004), on the AOL Welcome Screen with the opportunity to pre-order the book. Member interest in the book helped bump it up to the number six slot on the Barnes & Noble best seller list at publication time.

Whether striving to realize a career objective, communicate better with loved ones, lose an unwanted 10 pounds or get a better handle on personal finances, Better Life Coaches on AOL offer effective ideas and tactics to inspire, motivate and reach desired goals. In addition, the program features a host of online tools, resources and information, such as planners, message boards and journals to help users better meet their goals and find balance in their busy lives.

“AOL already helps millions of people manage and simplify their everyday lives with useful, practical tools such as AOL Bill Pay and AOL Food,” said Carla Wojnaroski, America Online Vice President and General Manager of Life Management Programming, Health and Living Channels. “The new area complements these offerings with more tools and resources to help members achieve their life improvement goals. We are excited about our partnership with Better Life Media and the possibilities and exclusive content it offers our members.”

“The Internet is the perfect medium to find expert advice on a wide range of topics, because it lets consumers access a wealth of information on demand. We are delighted to partner with AOL to bring its members an expanding lineup of Better Life Coaches to help them improve their lives,” said Eric Worre, Co-Chairman & Co-Chief Executive Officer of Better Life Media Inc. “With the coaches and online tools, AOL is providing its members an unparalleled online resource for information and advice on a variety of life-improvement topics.”

Content and resources for the Better Life Coaches on AOL program will be centrally available to members at AOL Keyword: Coaches as well as on the corresponding lifestyle channels.

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