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AOL/HuffPo Considering Paid Content

Via Bloomberg:

AOL Inc. (AOL) may introduce premium versions of its online content and make international acquisitions as Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong works to turn around the struggling Internet pioneer.

The New York-based owner of The Huffington Post news and commentary site is “open in the future to strategies that will help create great content and monetize it properly,” Armstrong said in an interview at the Cannes Lions media conference today. That includes subscription-based access to some of its content and partnerships with traditional media companies, he said.

AOL is among the media companies considering experiments with digital subscriptions to boost revenue and reduce dependence on advertising sales. In March, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., the owner of London’s Times and Sunday Times newspapers, said 80,000 users had signed up for paid digital subscriptions after it ended free access to those titles’ articles online.

“I think content subscriptions on the Internet can be a very viable business,” Armstrong said today. AOL might initially focus on business-to-business content offerings such as the AOL Defense portal, which offers news for the defense industry, he said.

Full story here.

Nat Brown is a former deputy web editor of Foreign Affairs and a former deputy managing editor of National Review Online.

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