AOL Studios Launches Digital City 2.0 Technology in Los Angeles and Expands Site to Web

May 7, 1998

Mayor Richard J. Riordan Kicks Off Launch of AOL's Digital City Los Angeles with Live Online Chat and Guest Column Digital City LA 2.0 Launches With Top Advertisers Including Galpin Motors, Sprint PCS, Miller Automotive, Bodies in Motion, Union Bank of California, Kelly Services, Southern California Edison, Hollywood Park, Norrell Services and Coldwell Banker Los Angeles, CA, May 7, 1998 -- AOL Studios, the world's leading creator of original community-based interactive content, today announced the launch of its next-generation Digital City Los Angeles, an interactive online city guide with enhanced features and functionality and availability on the World Wide Web. AOL's Digital City is the number one local content and community guide on the Internet, according to the latest research report from Media Metrix, which measured online and Web usage from March 1998. Currently servicing 38 local communities and expanding to 50 by fall, the Digital City Network reaches 2.9 million people every month, or more users than the next 3 local content networks combined. Digital City Los Angeles is the second site to be upgraded with Digital City's new technology, 2.0, which is designed to make Digital City Los Angeles easier to use and more engaging. Currently available on America Online at Keyword: Los Angeles, Digital City Los Angeles' move to 2.0, will expand its distribution to the Web at www.la.digitalcity.com, as well as to AOL.com and AOL NetFind - allowing millions of additional LA residents and visitors to take advantage of its interesting, useful and fun content. "The upgrade of the Digital City Network illustrates AOL's continuing commitment to building the most comprehensive, useful and compelling one-stop local content network in cyberspace," said Ted Leonsis, President of AOL Studios. "Mass market media, like network television, traditionally starts out serving a national audience and then expands to serve local markets nationwide. Digital City LA exemplifies AOL's move in that direction with a terrific site that provides LA-area residents with unparalleled local news, information and programming." Mayor Richard J. Riordan Digital City Los Angeles is pleased to announce that Mayor Richard J. Riordan will be a guest contributor on the site. Mayor Riordan's first online column, posted on the site today, covers the city's burgeoning multi-media entertainment industries, international commerce and business-friendly environment. The Mayor also participated in a live online chat from Capitol Hill today to kick off the launch of the new Digital City Los Angeles. "I am delighted America Online's launch of Digital City Los Angeles will make millions more Internet users around the world aware of the vast opportunities in the City of Angels," said Mayor Richard J. Riordan. "Los Angeles is proud to be center of what's new and what's now in everything from our nationwide leadership in multimedia, manufacturing and international trade to our fabulous beaches and art museums. Take a virtual tour of Los Angeles to find out why we will be the world's capital city of the 21st century." Digital City Los Angeles 2.0 The next generation features of 2.0 will improve ease-of-use, enhance member interactivity and expand the opportunity to build communities. Taken together, these next-generation features will provide Digital City Los Angeles with comprehensive guides, geographically organized virtual communities, and information about thousands of local events, along with expert hosts and special contributors offering opinions and interacting with members. In addition, the new version will include two "impulse channels" guiding members to People to Meet and Things To Do across the site. The launch of the next-generation Digital City Los Angeles follows the successful introduction of Digital City New York, the first site based on the 2.0 product. The NY and LA sites, available on both the Web and AOL, will provide the template for the expansion to 50 Digital City sites that will roll-out across the country by the Fall. Digital City Los Angeles, the city's #1 online guide in both size and revenues, offers visitors a one-stop source for information on everything from restaurants to real estate brokers with content highlighted by prominent Los Angeles media partners, including KTLA-Channel 5, LA Daily News, LA Weekly, KCRW and Gayot Publications. In addition to categories covering News & Weather, Entertainment, Real Estate, Sports, People, Auto, Travel, Community and Employment, a feature called "The Best of LA" highlights everything from the best places to eat sushi or burritos to the best places to roller blade and hike. The site includes well-known contributors such as Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly's restaurant critic and Sam Rubin, KTLA's entertainment critic. Digital City Los Angeles Advertisers The new Digital City Los Angeles has already attracted a lineup of prominent area advertisers, including Galpin Motors, Sprint PCS, Miller Automotive, Bodies in Motion, Union Bank of California, Kelly Services, Southern California Edison, Hollywood Park, Norrell Services and Coldwell Banker. Digital City Los Angeles has already sold millions of dollars in local advertising and is the leader in the LA market in size and revenues. Paul DeBenedictis, President, Digital City Inc., said, "Digital City provides a dream opportunity for advertisers and marketers -- giving them access to both the unmatched community of AOL and Web users with one local, regional or national buy. The Digital City Network receives more traffic than the next 3 competitors combined -- It's one-stop-shopping not only for Digital City LA users, but for the advertisers and marketers who want to reach them." "The launch of 2.0 means the leader in local LA content just got better," added Tommy McGloin, General Manager, Digital City Los Angeles. "We are expanding our appeal to local users and allowing our advertisers to realize the power of Digital City Los Angeles in reaching their target markets." "Digital City Los Angeles caters to a very California-centric segment and fits in with our strategy perfectly," said Heather Robinson, Manager, Interactive Markets, Union Bank of California. "We see high 'click through' of our ads by residents of all major California cities where we do business including LA, San Francisco, and San Diego."

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