Candy and soda might, under certain circumstances, have a negative
impact on an individual's health. But most of us would probably find it
ridiculous to state that candy and soda threaten the existence of the
The man who invented the web, however, might be accused of making an
equivalent argument when it comes to the web's version of candy and soda
-- all of those 'closed' services so many of us love, like Facebook and
Could Groupon be an $8bn a year business? How about a $25bn a year
business? Sound crazy? It's not -- at least to a number of observers,
including TechCrunch's Michael Arrington and TrialPay CEO Alex Rampell.
Group buying is already one of the hottest markets on the internet right
now, and if people like Arrington and Rampell are correct, it could be
one of the largest markets on the internet in short order. No wonder there are rumors about a billion-dollar acquisition of Groupon.
Newspapers? Dying? Television? Might as well die too. New media? That's where future empires will be built.
At least that's what some have been claiming since blogging and 'new media' became a mainstream phenomenon. And to be sure, new media's future does look bright. But is it as bright as many had predicted? Perhaps not.
Make no doubt about it: AOL CEO Tim Armstrong had his work cut out the
moment he became the leader of one of the most storied names in
technology in the past two decades.
The former head of ad sales for Google is tasked with nothing less than
to revitalize a brand that in many ways represents what the internet
once was, and perhaps represents little of what most of us think it will
be. Increasingly, Armstrong's task looks impossible to carry out
AOL's "startaround" plan, led by CEO Tim Armstrong, relies heavily on display advertising. Over the past year, the portal has stepped up its content creation business, invested in talent, and tried to increase the quality of its sites. All this is to attract more advertising dollars. Starting next month, the company will unveil new - and larger - ad formats, designed to draw more attention from readers.
But the question remains: Will bigger ads bring more returns for online publishers in 2010 and beyond?
Starting next month, a number of large websites — including MSNBC, Hulu, Yahoo and AOL properties — are set to roll out video ads that allow users to choose which ad they'd like to see before the content they want to watch.
The new format could make users a lot happier with the ads they view online. But more importantly, it will give the sites publishing these ads important insight into which ads work and which don't. But will users enjoy serving as a focus group for internet publishers?
If it's true that all politics is local, it makes sense that AOL would want a piece of that ad market online. Starting today, the portal's advertising arm will be selling political advertising.
The company aims to combine its local and display focus with the burgeoning interest in online political advertising. And in fact, they might be on to something.
Can a site that documents viral content help a portal go viral? That's what AOL is hoping with its new Buzzfeed partnership.
In addition to links sent to the web's most popular content, Buzzfeed (which bills itself as "the viral web in real time") will now be linking to AOL stories on its homepage. That's not a bad idea.
It's official: after more than a year of rumors, AOL has finally managed to find a buyer for Bebo, the social networking website it purchased in 2008 for a whopping $850m.
The buyer: financial firm Criterion Capital Partners. The price: word on the street is that it didn't exceed
$10m, and may have been as low as $2.5m.
AOL's CEO Tim Armstrong has been at the company for over a year now. As he readily admits, AOL has a long way to go before it will be able to stop depending on its slowly depleting dial-up revenues. But on stage at CMSummit in New York on Tuesday, Armstrong highlighted a key point of his strategy. Journalism is technologically challenged. AOL's trying to change that.