AOL today announced partnerships with three major content brands: The Sporting News, Move.com, and Everyday Health. At a teleconference today, CEO Tim Armstrong (pictured) revealed an outsourcing strategy for AOL’s sports, real estate, and health sections that is designed to strengthen its editorial brand, increase traffic for advertisers, and cut costs.
Armstrong said AOL would continue to produce original local and video content for those three sections, while letting Sporting News, Move.com, and Everyday Health anchor national coverage. “It will allow us to focus on areas we are strong in,” he said. “It will reduce overall expense.”
Financial terms of the multi-year deals were not disclosed. Of the three agreements, the partnership with 125-year-old Sporting News is perhaps the most intriguing. First of all, Armstrong said the Sporting News team would manage AOL’s FanHouse brand while selling the sports ad inventory on AOL. “We don’t have a lot of endemic ads [for sports],” he explained.
AOL has spent the last four-and-a-half years building up the FanHouse property, paying veteran sports reporters like Kevin Blackistone and independent bloggers alike. While it was unclear if FanHouse’s current writers would remain on board, Armstrong said the deal was not a sign that the property would be shuttered sometime soon.
“The FanHouse brand is not going away,” he said. “We’ll have a better chance by partnering with The Sporting News rather than doing it on our own.”
The Move.com partnership brings its large database of real estate listings, which will be integrated under the AOL Real Estate umbrella. The CEO said both AOL and Move.com will sell real estate ad inventory, while the latter will be the endemic listings seller.
Additionally, AOL Health will be replaced by the Everyday Health brand on AOL.com. EverydayHealth.com focuses on personal health content for women and garnered almost six million unique viewers in November, according to Compete.
Lastly, it appears ad sales for the section will remain in AOL’s jurisdiction. Armstrong said relationships with health- and CPG-based advertisers would remain intact under the AOL-Everyday Health partnership.
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