AOL may acquire more media properties

An acquisition would be in line with AOL's strategy to generate more content in-house

AOL may buy more online media and even traditional newspapers in its bid to boost the digital content it offers customers, a senior company executive said.

"It is a possibility," AOL Chief Technology Officer Alexander Gounares said on Wednesday.

The move would be in line with AOL's strategy to have most of its content, including international content, from internal sources, he added.

The company said last Tuesday that it had acquired TechCrunch, a technology news blog. AOL already owns Engadget a Web magazine on gadgets and consumer electronics. The investment in technology content is deliberate as a significant proportion of AOL's audience is interested in technology news, Gounares said.

AOL now plans to expand the content it offers to provide its audience with community news and information. The notion of community and content for community has been around before the printed word, Gounares said.

When people get up in the morning they want to know not only the national and international news, but also the best deals and events going around locally, Gounares said. They also want to be in touch with family and friends using social networks, he added.

AOL already runs the Patch community sites, which are focused on coverage for individual towns and communities. Referring to the role of the journalist working for a Patch site, Gounares said it was like that of a village "shaman" or town crier who makes sense of what is happening in the community, and conveys that to the reader.

The Patch sites have a cost edge over traditional local newspapers because they operate without expensive buildings and take advantage of a centralized sales organization. In addition, technology developments can be rolled out across other Patch and AOL sites, Gounares said.

AOL India is, for example, considering rolling out Patch.

AOL also runs Seed.com, a site that purchases writing and other content, and distributes it to its various properties. AOL would like to produce more content in-house, but in some situations it is not always possible to have in-house the right person at the right place and time, or an expert on a particular topic, Gounares said. Seed.com fills that gap, he added.

AOL also acquired last month 5min Media, a video syndication network, and Thing Labs, whose Brizzly family of Web-based social software allows users to create, share and explore content. It believes that social networking platforms, such as its Lifestream aggregator, will be one of many ways people will stay in touch and get content about family, friends and the local community.

The company is planning to launch in the U.S. Wow.com, a deal-of-the-day service with national and local offers. "Our business model is advertising, and a very valuable part of advertising is the deal, the coupon," Gounares said. He did not however disclose the number of merchants that have signed up for the Wow program.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetbusiness issuesAOLMergers / acquisitions

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?