AOP Summit: Closing sites helped us increase revenue, says AOL chief

AOL's decision to close its smaller websites last year has boosted revenue and margin growth despite initially causing "panic" and being viewed as the "beginning of the end", according to a senior AOL executive.

Noel Penzer,:AOL Huffington Post Media Group managing director of the UK and vice president, international
Noel Penzer,:AOL Huffington Post Media Group managing director of the UK and vice president, international

Noel Penzer, AOL Huffington Post Media Group managing director of the UK and vice president, international, was speaking at today's Association of Online Publishers' digital publishing summit.

Other senior speakers at the event include Nick Bell, digital product director at News International, Chris Maples, vice president at Spotify, and Edward Roussel, digital editor of Telegraph Media Group.

Last year AOL closed its UK sports and music sites to focus on Huffington Post and its other bigger brands, which were deemed core to its content-led strategy.

Penzer said that by looking at daily data, AOL executives realised that the vast majority of its traffic was generated by its homepage and emails, while 16 smaller content-based websites were "massive loss-making areas".

He added that the company set itself up for success by "measuring, learning, building and innovating".

Penzer said: "So we took the decision to shut them. It put panic into the building. People thought it was the beginning of the end. But we got rid of a whole load of sites and two things happened.

"Our focus was now on the right place. By having people pointing in the right direction we managed to focus on [the important] things. We managed to grow audience, grow our revenue and grow our margins."

AOL agreed to buy the Huffington Post for $315m in February last year.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up

Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up

Waitrose has joined forces with Channel 4 and produced a Saturday morning lifestyle and cookery programme called 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose', with TV presenters Lisa Snowdon and Steve Jones signed up to front it.

Share
Newspaper ABCs: Guardian smashes through 100m browsers in March 2014

Newspaper ABCs: Guardian smashes through 100m browsers in March 2014

The Guardian reached more than 100 million monthly unique browsers for the first time in March, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations figures published today.

Share
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers

Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers

Italians swearing and shouting while sitting behind the wheels of their cars and negotiating the busy streets of Rome could become a thing of the past if they all start driving Toyota's Hybrid vehicles, implies a short film for the car brand.

Share

Get news by email