AOL is the midst of a series of site rollouts and this week’s latest, ParentDish.com, is starting off with a partnership with Warner Bros. TV Group sibling MomLogic. The primary goal here is to get more focused in its site offerings on AOL Living, its female-focused channel. And like all the new sites, it will be strongly connected with AOL’s ad side, as the Platform-A network will supply both display advertising and contextual ads from its Quigo unit.
Rafat adds: Thus continues AOL’s strategy of moving away from the AOL brand on the content side, and focusing on these focused blog-like sites, all driven through the big traffic funnel of main AOL.com and other bigger sections with AOL (NYSE: TWX). It is also launching TheBoot for country music and The Boom Box for hip hop and R&B to follow on Tuesday. Other sites it has in its stable include the former Weblogs Inc family (pred down now) BloggingStocks, Asylum Web site for young men, WalletPop on personal finance, Spinner on indie music and StyleList on fashion.
AOL has also been on a relaunch tear, relaunching its finance, music, news and sports sections in the last year. It plans to offer about two dozen more specialist sites by year’s end, including BigDownload for downloadable video games, reports AP. Interesting that after the Weblogs Inc buy which brought in a number of these focused blog sites (and which led to its current thinking), it has not gone the M&A route in the content area, but has focused its corp dev efforts on the advertising side.
Will this be ultimately where most of AOL will go and would this be able to turn around AOL’s efforts against the GYM combination? Well, if AOL is broken up and sold, then some clear units emerge: advertising unit Platform-A is a logical separate one, then all these content sites would be bundled as another unit. Then the communications unit comprising of AIM and Mail, and of course the declining access unit. Also, legacy’s a big thing of shame for AOL, and these lines from its 2007 10-K filing says it all:
“If AOL cannot effectively build a portfolio of alternate brands that are appealing to Internet consumers, AOL may have difficulty in increasing the engagement of Internet consumers on its web products and services. AOL believes that the