13 maggio 2015 | 12:12

Aol ha vinto puntando su contenuti originali e video. La strategia dietro l’acquisizione da parte del gigante delle tlc Verizon

I contenuti giornalisti di Huffington Post e TechCrunch e i video hanno risollevato le sorti di Aol e hanno permesso l’acquisto da parte di Verizon per 4,4 miliardi di dollari. Lo spiega il Times di oggi. Aol, ricorda il Times, aveva acquisito Time Warner per 168 miliardi di dollari nel 2000, un’operazione che l’attuale ceo di Aol, Tim Armstrong (ex Google) ha definito “una delle peggiori acquisizioni nella storia del capitalismo americano”.

Tim Armstrong (foto Abcnews.go.com)

Tim Armstrong (foto Abcnews.go.com)

 Ma oggi le cose sembrano cambiate, grazie ai 22 milioni di visitatori unici solo in Gran Bretagna lo scorso marzo, avanti a Twitter, Linkedin e il Guardian:

AOL, best known for its “You’ve Got Mail” slogan, was one of the world’s largest companies at the turn of the century but a disastrous merger with Time Warner left the company in the shadow of Facebook and Google in the fight for online dominance. However, its stable of media assets and its online video player have helped to propel it back into popularity in recent years.Comscore, the digital monitoring company, calculated that AOL-owned sites had 22 million unique visitors in Britain in March, putting it ahead of Twitter, LinkedIn and The Guardian in audience terms.

La strategia negli ultimi anni ad Aol è stata impostata sul creare un’alternativa a YouTube per l’offerta video, producendo contenuti originali, dagli shows prodotti direttamente dall’Huffington Post e da TechCrunch al coinvolgimento di star di Hollywood come Gwyneth Paltrow e Nicole Richie, protagonista di un reality. Verizon dalla sua, può contare su 108 milioni di clienti collegati alla sua banda larga o che usufruiscono di servizi telefonici o tv.

His strategy since has been to develop a viable alternative to YouTube in video by offering original content, ranging from factual shows produced by its Huffington Post and TechCrunch websites to celebrity content such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s Restart Project and a reality series featuring Nicole Richie.Mr Armstrong conceded his company was struggling to compete with larger rivals. “We’ve made AOL as big as it can possibly be in today’s landscape,” he said yesterday, adding that plugging the company’s content into Verizon’s 108-million-strong customer base created “a very powerful platform”.Verizon said the takeover of AOL would be a “another significant step in building digital and video platforms to drive future growth”.

L’acquisizione è solo una delle ultime operazioni, sottolinea il giornale inglese, che ha coinvolto società di tlc e media. In Inghilterra Sky si è lanciata nell’offerta della banda, Bt ha lanciato la pay tv per i canali sport e Google servizi telefonici: nell’operazione attuale Verizon-Aol l’enfasi è tutta spostata sugli utenti mobile in un mercato che al momento gode di prezzi bassi e che è un po’ fermo. Verizon ha anche acquistato l’anno scorso Intel’sOnCu una piattaforma tv online.

It is the latest sign of convergence between telecoms and media companies that has also played out in Britain with Sky offering broadband, BT launching pay-TV sports channels and Google a mobile phone service.Telecoms companies have for years fought against the impression that they are “dumb pipes” that players such as Google and Netflix can use to sell directly to consumers.The original AOL-Time Warner merger was justified on the basis that entertainment would move online and control of content and access to the digital world would prevail. The Verizon takeover has been justified with the same logic but with more emphasis on mobile devices, where digital content is largely consumed.Content has become increasingly important for companies such as Verizon, which is looking to offset lower prices and stiff competition from online players. The US telecoms group… … acquired Intel’s OnCue, an internetbased television platform, last year.

Verizon swoops to conquer reborn AOL (The Times, 13 maggio 2015)