The paidContent 50: The Most Successful Digital Media Companies In The U.S.

7. AOL

AOL

U.S. 2010 digital revenue: $1.28 billion

Snapshot: AOL CEO Tim Armstrong has been refining his company’s content and ad sales strategy for over a year, in part through a very aggressive series of acquisitions, but AOL to date has not been able to capitalize on the improving online ad market. Armstrong has told investors that he expects the company’s display ad revenue to grow in line with the overall market by mid-2011 — a sentiment he reiterated with us in a recent interview.

Key digital move in 2010: Acquisitions, acquisitions and more acquisitions. AOL went on a buying binge in 2010, picking up TechCrunch for its premium content and Pictela for its large scale display ad tools.

And the company wasn’t done… In early 2011, AOL bought the Huffington Post for $315 million in a bid for even greater scale. In the aftermath of that deal, AOL eliminated 900 jobs and was expected to streamline some of its many brands — which stretch from brides site Aisle Dash to daily deals site Wow.com.

How we generated our estimate: AOL reported $1.28 billion in online ad revenue in 2010. The vast majority of the company’s sales come from the U.S.