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Apr 26, 2008

Brand: AOL==Lost in Space

Ed: Dial-up access, cable access, portal content, social network, or advertising network? AOL was number 1 with dial-up. Since then, the AOL brand has mashed or mushed to obscurity.

AOL Acquires Fantasy Sports Site Fleaflicker

AOL has acquired Fleaflicker, a New Jersey-based fantasy sports site founded by 26 year old Ori Schwartz. We first coveredin July 2006.

The transaction price isn’t being disclosed. Based on the highlyfluctuating traffic to the site and the fact that they only support football (which explains the huge drops in traffic during the off-season), my guess is this is more of a technology acquisition than the buying of the business operations. Fleaflicker also powers the Washington Post’s Fantasy Football leagues.

AOL runs its own very popular fantasy sports sites for football, baseball, racing and golf, and AOL sports is surging in general (more on that in a follow up post).

AOL Sees Strong Growth In Sites After Year Long Revamping

AOL’s programming sites (Money & Finance, News, Sports, Health, Food, Music, Games, and Moviefone, among others) hit an all time high in high in unique visitors and traffic in March, the company says. Page views to the sites are up 35% over the last year and unique visitors up 11% to 56 million (AOL as a whole draws 209 million monthly unique visitors, says Comscore).

As a whole, the properties have had six consecutive months of unique visitor and page view growth.

Why the surge? AOL attributes it to a year long rebranding and redesign effort, noting that every key vertical site has been redesigned (see our coverage of AOL Finance, for example, and the almost immediate traffic surge that followed).

Many of the programming sites have dropped the AOL brand altogether. We wrote recently about the launch of Switched, their technology network. Black Voices, an African American culture and news site, and Asylum, a men-focused site, are other examples.

AIM, MapQuest, AOL Music, AOL Television, Black Voices, TMZ and Asylum are No. 1 in their respective categories, based on unique visitor counts from Comscore. AOL Money & Finance, Real Estate, Moviefone, Women, Health and AOL Latino are all in the top three spots compared to competitors.

Also see news of AOL’s acquisition today of fantasy sports site Fleaflicker, which it is integrating into AOL Sports.

Widgets: The Marketer’s Recession Survival Tool

...President of AOL. Userplane, which was acquired by AOL in August 2006, is a communications widget provider (add chat and other services to sites) and a large advertising network. Mike Jones’ personal blog is here. Companies facing a slowing economy are looking for more cost-effective ways to reach customers. Forrester’s recent post on the rol...

Still Need to Make a Call to Buy on AOL's Spot Market

...about hyping Platform A these days, it's given the new division a cool new logo. I admit, the design major in me digs it. ClickZ News Blog

AOL's Build-Your-Own Strategy: Working, At Least Partly [Silicon Alley Insider]

Yep, AOL (TWX) is still going to report a weak Q1 with revenue flat to down slightly from a year ago, but the news isn't all bad. In fact, one aspect of AOL's revamp as an ad-supported media company seems to be going reasonably well. Unique visitors to AOL's (TWX) sites are up 15% in Q1 to 56.6 million unique visitors, according to comScore, outpac...

Is AOL heading for a comeback?

...s Platform A is now the top ad network, beating out competing efforts from Yahoo and Google, are very good signs for the company. It’s not all good news yet, as Time Warner is expected to announce a relatively weak quarter for AOL when it reports earnings next week, according to The Wall Street Journal. But the pieces may be in place now for a s... VentureBeat 

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