CEO Tim Armstrong discusses AOL's content strategy and its reasons for parting with Bebo.
AOL now has a "specific and precise" strategy for its business, and its staff is "sick of losing," according to the company's CEO, Tim Armstrong. Speaking at Techcrunch's Disrupt conference in NYC this morning, Armstrong said AOL "plans to be the largest high quality content producer for digital media," and dismissed suggestions it was simply building a "content factory."
"We see content as a way to fund our properties and others we partner with," Armstrong said. "We think about how to create the world's best content and have a deep strategy around that area. The world doesn't need more low quality content," he added, following questioning from Techcrunch editor Mike Arrington on the emergence of "content farms" such as Demand Media.
Armstrong said the company was no longer using its own past as a barometer for success, but that its focus is now on "beating the Internet" in terms of its performance versus competitors. "Beat the Internet applies to every corporate side of AOL," Armstrong said.
Regarding Bebo - the struggling social network the company acquired for $850 million and intends to sell or close by the end of the week - Armstrong said no decisions had been made, and that the review process was still underway. He admitted, however, that only engineering staff had been working on the site for the past year, and described it as "a major distraction" when he arrived at the company. "Maybe the company bought it for good reasons, but the execution part of it seemed to fall apart. We had to make a strategic decision and Bebo did not fit into that strategy," he said.
Finally, responding to questioning on whether AOL is simply a "mini Yahoo" Armstrong said if that term refers to his company's "clearly defined" strategy, then he would take it as a compliment. He added, however, that he viewed AOL as "head-to-head competitive" with a lot of big brands in the space. "Call and ask 20 of our customers and I think they'd agree," he said.
Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live New York 2015
[ALERT] Super Saver Rates Expire January 30. With over 15 years of experience delivering industry leading events, ClickZ Live brings together over 50 expert speakers to deliver an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Quick! - Register today to secure your place at the best rate.
Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
Singapore, 5-6 March
Bangkok, 17-18 March
Hong Kong, April 2015
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.
5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.