AOL Buys Huffington Post To Keep Up
With the relentless pace of technology forging on, it is inevitable that you’ll be left behind if you’re not careful. A prime example of this is AOL. From 1991 to around 2000, you couldn’t move for AOL CD’s. At the peak, America Online had over 30 million subscribers, all using the same hideous software.
Sadly, some might say, the world’s favourite brand of coaster went quickly downhill. After selling off the ISP side of the business to Carphone Warehouse, and with the advent of high speed broadband, AOL pretty much became redundant. Freed from Google part ownership and sold by Time Warner in 2009, AOL is now an independant company.
However, in a shock announcement (to many) earlier today, AOL have confirmed the purchase of popular news and blog site, The Huffington Post, for $315 million. This now means that the AOL group (or Huffington Post Media Group as it’s soon to be known) own a set of very powerful websites including Engadget, Autoblog, Techcrunch and now Huff Po.
Rebranding themselves as an all-in-one media provider, they now aim to target content to the estimated 270 million worldwide monthly visitors and begin to compete again.
Oviously, this deal is in the very early stages but it will be interesting to see if AOL, even rebranded, can shake the stigma of it’s former life and start to compete in the market. With the media empire they seem to be gathering it might be more likely, but it is a huge gamble nevertheless.