For the record Techcrunch is one of my favorite sites… however…
Last week the world was rocked by Mike Arrington, Arrington’s to the point brash style of blogging has been a staple in the tech community for a decade. Through Techcrunch he and his team bring the latest in the VC world, Silicon Valley, Start Ups, and behind the scenes tech news. Their companion crunch sites give us what we look for in gadget reviews, mobile life and more.
Engadget on the other hand is a staple in the tech comunity for breaking the latest gadget news from all areas in the tech world be it apple, android, pc, odd gadgets and much more.
Both sites came to a head when Arrington called out Engadget for buying Google ads. From there it was a great blog war with many posts and even more comments. Both sites are part of tech town in AOL’s content division and both sites seem to be the crown jewel of AOL… Not so fast…
A story in the New Yorker today reveals that 80% of their revenue comes from subscribers. Not just subscribers but people that actually have another form of ISP and are paying AOL every month to keep their email address @aol.com that they’ve had for a decade or two.
AOL’s current CEO Tim Armstrong is a newspaper and content man having come from a journalism background and then a lofty sales position at Google before coming to AOL. Under Armstrong’s leadership AOL has beefed up their content properties owning 90 or so blogs and 700 “Patch” local sites devoted to local news, content and of course advertising. Their collection of blog sites covers everything from tech to mommys and more. So it seems alarming that 80% of their revenue is subscription base.
If someone were to invest in the millions of dollars to put little CD packs at every walmart that say “HOW TO KEEP YOUR AOL ADDRESS AND NOT PAY AOL” it would be doomsday for Armstrong and his current model.
Just how long will AOL depend on the laziness and ignorance of people still paying them every month as if it were 1992?
Source: New Yorker