Not literally, of course, but by siphoning it off bit by bit, through AOL's Advertising.com unit, which provides soup-to-nuts ad solutions on a variety of properties on and off AOL's various platforms.
Brody, the CEO of AOL's Advertising.com unit, said:
“There is $50 billion sitting in a locked vault, television and print. It is hard to convince advertisers to take that to a market where they get 0.2% clickthrough rates.”
It was a bold statement for a company best known for its colossal failure to navigate the jump from dial-up modem subscriptions to social media; and for its comically inept -- and later aborted -- merger with Time Warner.
Today, however, AOL released a set of Q3 2012 numbers that might start to make people think again. Overall revenue was flat at $ 531.7 million (on sinking subscriptions, of course). But advertising revenue was up 7% to $340 million. Furthermore:
-- Advertising.com: The number of publishers joining the Advertising.com network and the number of impressions available for sale to advertisers continued to grow at double-digit rates, while the number of video impressions sold grew over 100% from Q3 2011.
Here's what that looks like in a chart (click to enlarge, at right).
In sum, AOL has added the better part of $50 million in ad revenue per quarter since 2010.
Those are huge numbers on the online ad world.
AOL's ad business is well on the way to replacing its subs business.
Advertising.com was originally acquired by AOL in 2004 for $435 million. Now that it's putting on nearly $350 million per quarter (before traffic acquisition costs) and growing, that's looking like an extremely good deal.
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