Monday, 20 July 2009

AOL - the content provider

(By Richard Holway 9.30am 20th July 09) Interesting story in today's FT - AOL sets sights on content-led domination. In a way it links with my story yesterday - Microsoft + Yahoo...again? It's all about the old dominant players trying hard to adapt to the 'New World'. AOL was THE leader in email not so long ago - now it's just an also ran. Same applies to Yahoo in search and who knows what "old dominant player' title we might apply to Microsoft in the future?

Content is indeed an interesting area. No one doubts how dominant content is and will be. The only problem is how to do make money from it in a world that thinks all content should be free and treats even online adverts as a nuisance? Just ten years ago on Hotnews, we were paying for our news feeds and share price information. Yahoo Finance and the LSE now provide all of that for free. I'm afraid to say I can never remember any of the ads on Yahoo.

AOL intends to major on sites such as Engadget (tech gadgets), Asylum (men's issues), Lemondrop (woman's issues) - all owned by AOL. Building out communities based on the interest that such sites generate. I can certainly see the traffic being generated. What is less clear is its monetisation.

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