UPDATED 12:56 EDT / MAY 04 2011

New Online Media Shows Promise and Profit for AOL, Beyond

The internet is evolving, and so does media as a whole. We’ve seen a couple of significant markers of that this past 24 hours, starting with AOL.

The internet company had its earnings call today, and display ad revenues were up four percent. Overall ad revenues were down 11 percent due to its shrinking international and search ads business. However, one indicator to look at is an 11 percent domestic growth in display results.

“Factor out the effect of its HuffingtonPost acquisitions and other buys, and that number is still up six percent. AOL says it’s been able to do that because it has finally overhauled it sales force and strategy, which has the site trying to sell fewer ad units for more money.”

AOL’s new plan focuses on one concept: larger ads. The Wall Street Journal reported today that the aspiring publishing company has teamed up with Hearst Corp. The latter will sell AOL’s “supersized ads” clients across Cosmopolitan.com, Esquire.com and some of its other magazines, and will pay AOL a technology fee. These interactive ads which may feature videos, polls, and even games are reportedly four times larger then normal, and are designed to be displayed on the right-handed side of webpages.

Competitor Yahoo is also making some strides to boost its ad business, and recently acquired iPhone app developer IntoNow for $30 million.

AOL and Yahoo represent san element of (relatively) old media catching up with the rest of web. The same however cannot be said of the US DVD market, who declined by a whopping 20 percent in Q1, 2011. Sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs fell from $2.58 billion to just more than $2 billion, however, social networking has been doing exceptionally week. LinkedIn just reported that sales more than doubled to $93.9 million in the first quarter of this year.


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