Spinning Off AOL

from the forget-the-whole-thing dept

Here’s a Reuters article looking at the possibility of AOL-Time Warner spinning off AOL (basically negating the whole merger from a few years back). Most people think this is highly unlikely, but it’s still a possibility. Of course, this seems to be the reverse move of all those companies that spun off their internet divisions at the height of the bubble, and are now snapping them back up. Buy high, sell low. Excellent business strategy.

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Comments on “Spinning Off AOL”

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Cory says:

WooHoo !

AOL devalued even more than a 14 year old in the AOL S&M Singles Chat Room. I love it ! =)
Many say that AOL’s (and many other ISP’s) only hope is broadband. Well AOL-TW are competing against themselves as AOL’s Broadband has to muscle in on existing Time Warner RoadRunner customers. And now that Time Warner inked a deal to provide pipe for Earthlink’s Broadband, AOL has even more competition right in their own backyard.
“The company seems to be betting that Pittman’s marketing and advertising savvy will help drive growth…” LOL ! Oh that’s good. Can ANYONE name 1 AOL commercial that didnt insult your intelligence or make you sit slack-jawed in awe at the stupidity of the flashing pictures coming from your TV with the AOL logo all over them ?
AOL’s biggest marketing mistake in the broadband arena is its missing the geeks completely. If you want to adopt a new technology or service, get a bunch of geeks excited about it, make them your base and build from there. So when grandma has her geek grandson over to fix her computer and he starts yammering on and on about broadband service while he is downloading a driver for her scanner – she (the decidedly non-geek) will have a good interest in checking this new fangled stuff out.
And I would just like to close by saying, Robert Pittman if you personally had anything to do with any of the stupendously stupid AOL commercials that exist now or have ever existed I want to UPS some dog feces to you.
The only bad thing is that if AOL goes down, it will take them about a month to figure out some way to blame it on Microsoft.

2Lazy2Register says:

Re: WooHoo !

Interesting comment on the geek factor. I worked at CompuServe way back when, and that was a company built and run by hard-core geeks if there ever was one. The big fear back then was that MSN would kill them. AOL was laughed off as a marketing joke. Geeks respect other geeks. Geeks don’t respect marketroids. Funny how it all turned out… AOL bought CompuServe, lobotomized the technology (thus alienating the geek customer base), and positioned it as the low-cost alternative to AOL (for the three people in the country that couldn’t afford AOL), apparently in the hopes of killing it off. What they didn’t understand (and still don’t) is that you can get fluff anywhere, more than likely for free. What you can’t get is a highly concentrated collection of knowledgable people willing to share their knowledge for free. I still miss the CompuServe forums – they were like having a collection of your own tightly focused brain trusts. Nothing like that exists on the internet today (mostly due to the lousy signal-to-noise ration on usenet). I’m with you – AOL sucks.

Morris says:

No Subject Given

The money is not in geeks but in the mainstream user base, AOL has 30+ million paying subscribers while the next down the list MSN less than 10 million. Sure AOL looks as a service for beginners but that’s because most of the users are such and they tailor their messaging to this audience. I am not a fan of AOL and never used their service but they have done a good job in building such an impressive subscriber base

D Henkel-Wallace says:

C'mon, don't forget why the transaction happend in

Steve Case wanted to retire. He couldn’t without tanking his stock (and he didn’t have a huge percentage). But if he sells to T/W, he can become chairman and just quietly fade away..
And that’s what happened! He got to swap his shares for TW shares; got to sell some when it was high, and retire. Best of all, the press did the heavy lifting of trying to justify the purchase!

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