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AOL Europe is upping the distribution ante for its Netscape Online free service. This time it’s signed up consumer publishing house Future Network, to distribute its sign-up disks on its 60 British magazines (combined monthly circulation 2.1m). Future Network is settling for a Jam Tomorrow kind of a deal, in which no money changes hand. It will supply editorial content on Netscape Online -- for free. Future is not exactly known for its hard news, but it has a useful roster of computer magazines and it dominates the cutthroat UK needlework publishing sector. The company will set aside free advertising space in its magazines for Netscape Online, and in turn it will get an slice of the ISP’s telco, advertising and sponsorship revenues generated from the subscribers signing up through Future-distributed sign-up disks. This is an excellent deal for AOL Europe -- it gets good content from a virgin source (the news on many British consumer websites look "samey" because it mostly comes from PA). And it gets distribution on the newsstands through a fast-growing publishing house (if not quite in the Emap or IPC league). But what’s in it for Future -- aside from what will be a few hundred thousand pounds a year at very best from Netscape Online --for giving away expensively produced content? Future also operates 18 magazine-based web sites of its own -- and is planning a further three next month. This is far too many, if the company wants to be taken seriously as a Web Property. ® Related stories AOL strikes my enemy's enemy deal with Kingfisher Free AOL launches under Netscape banner Daily net finance news from The Register

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