AOL Cranks Up Content Creation as It Readies for Spinoff

The company is also working on mysterious project to be revealed at a later date

By on October 23rd, 2009 14:56 GMT
AOL is going through some pretty big changes and with the impending spinoff from Time Warner trying times are ahead of the Internet company. Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong talked about some future plans and the company's greater emphasis on content. Armstrong wants the content creation part of the business to grow several times in the future and says that revenue isn't the biggest concern at the moment.

Armstrong also revealed that the company was working on a pretty big project, which should have a great impact on its media platform but the CEO was coy about giving out any other details. “We have been working on something for the last three months that I think is a fairly substantial shift in our technology," he said. "When that's ready to announce, maybe we'll come back and talk to you about it."

When pressed for details Armstrong refused to be more specific but implied that it had something to do with AOL's technology platform it uses to power all of its media outlets. “It's a broader platform with more information around content and the creation of content," he said. "We see that platform evolving to a much higher scale."

He also underlined the strides AOL had been making in content creation. The company went from 500 journalists to 3,000 in the months since Armstrong has been at the helm. The number includes freelance journalists but still serves as good example of the commitment to content at the company. Of course, with the news industry pretty much in disarray and with journalists losing their jobs at most big publishers this is the time to acquire talent on the cheap. Over 3,000 pieces of content are pushed out by AOL every day but this isn't just writing; video creation has gone up three or four times in volume in the past few months.

"We've hired people from places like The Wall Street Journal and ESPN," Armstrong said. "You're not just hiring a person, you're hiring the community they come with, and I think that has been an important part when you look at the network effects of that."

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