Blog Post

AOL Close to Buying TechCrunch

AOL (s aol), the New York-based online media company, is on the verge of acquiring TechCrunch, the online blogging network started by former attorney, Michael Arrington. The deal is at a sensitive stage and might fall apart yet, but I don’t think so. Sources familiar with both entities says that the announcement is likely to come onstage at Disrupt, TechCrunch’s flagship conference currently underway in San Francisco.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is likely to make an appearance at the conference, and perhaps that’s when the announcement is likely to be made. Michael Arrington was unreachable for comment, and AOL has not returned my calls. I still don’t know the terms of the deal, and will update the post accordingly.

AOL in the past had acquired Weblogs Inc., the blogging company behind popular sites such as Engadget. Those blogs have helped AOL compensate for steep loss of traffic. The service has been in the market to buy a technology blog, and is rumored to have been linked with other technology blogs.

On a more personal note, I think this is great news for Mike and his crew. I remember Mike starting out by writing long reviews of web startups in 2005. We often talked about the world of technology and discussed where it was all headed. In the years that have passed, he turned his blog into a company and brought in Heather Harde to run his operation. The company has launched series of events, with TechCrunch SF being the latest. I want to congratulate Mike and his crew on their success.

Related research from GigaOM Pro (subscription req’d):

Photo of Michael Arrington by Joi Ito via Flickr under Creative Commons.

143 Responses to “AOL Close to Buying TechCrunch”

  1. I think we should all speculate on price – my guess will be $35 to $40 mil. TC’s a premier web property but not a massively profitable cash-cow. Its viewership has steadily grown in the last few years, but not the number of interested sponsors. The conferences (now 2x per year) have come to represent what the ‘business’ of TC is all about. How else could the site support such a sizeable full-time staff for a blog. Congrats Mike if this is true/happens. The timing certainly makes sense – might as well bag the revenue of TC SF before handing over the reins.

  2. Aolnews.com has a backlink to engadget.com with an anchor text “Tech News”. Will it be switched to point to TC if this sale happens? Currently with this search term, Engadget is #4 in Google and TC #9.

  3. Do you think the Angelgate reporting from Arrington, was linked to the fact that he was talking with AOL? It was pretty bold of him to be burning some bridges.
    My conspiracy theory Arrington style :)

      • “Techcrunch is making about $10 million/year, according to Inc. magazine.”

        I’m assuming you meant that they’re pulling in $10 million a year in revenue, not making $10 million a year in profit.

      • Wish they’d still have the pricing on their ads like in the past.

        I also asume there’s plenty of placed content (specially by Apple, anybody read MG Siegler will suspect this)

        According to compete they have about 2,300,000 uniques a month, but compete always underestimates, so they probably have an average of 3,000,000.

        To round up, say their avg CPM is about $25 x 2,300 = that’s about $57,000 for just one ad

        They have well over 10 ads, plus lots of links and content placed by Sillicon Valley’s creme de la creme. Let’s say they make good $700k, maybe even a $1,000,000 per month.

        Multiply by 5 years, that’s close to $100mil considering the Michael Arrington brand who’s been quoted in every news outlet worldwide.