“…really great news for all blog owners and laid off journalists.”
AOL gone wild with Huffington
Nobody expected to hear such news, but AOL decided to purchase HuffPost for unbelievable price of $315 million. Well, with such a high purchase price any discussion about Facebook’s controversial valuation seems to lose any meaning. Like it or not, we should all thank AOL because its recent actions are creating a new business model for the internet companies. Consider that HuffPost was founded in 2005 and reached 25 million unique visitors in December last year, but with such a high readership it still wasn’t making any money even remotely comparable to the AOL’s offer. But HuffPost had what seems to be extremely important for any advertisers, and that is an engaged and large community of readers, something that is not easily created or maintained. HuffPost has established its own brand loyalty and therefore any recommendation from it could produce great results for advertisers or sales teams. So yes, it was a smart decision by AOL but probably they overpaid a lot. But on the other hand, who really cares? Perhaps the only person who is pissed off is Michael Arrington from TechCrunch who sold his own website to AOL for only $25 million, what looks like pennies compared to $315 million for HuffPost. And why am I saying that everybody should be happy? Because it’s really great news for all blog owners and laid off journalists. Go and create your own online magazine, establish strong brand, create communities of engaged readers, produce high standard journalism products, and after 5 years or so you also can be bought out by AOL or some other company that will be interested in targeting your particular readership. Well, finally it looks like there is light in the tunnel emerging for the troubled publishing industry.