AOL Celebrates Day One as an Independent Company
New AOL will maximize core strengths in content, advertising and communications to succeed in the new content economy
NEW YORK – December 10, 2009 – AOL (NYSE:AOL) Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong will join AOL employees at 9:30 am ET today to ring The Opening BellSM at the New York Stock Exchange on AOL's first day as an independent, public company following its spin-off from Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX).
"As we look to the future on this important day for AOL, our company is focused on building the highest quality content for consumers and the best products and services for our advertising and publishing partners," Armstrong said. "Our content sites and advertising platforms give AOL a unique seat at the Internet table and we intend to maximize these valuable assets and our scale to return our business to growth."
Armstrong continued: "AOL has leading offerings in content, advertising and communications, employees who are hard at work building the products and services that capture the promise of digital media and a highly focused management team with deep Internet experience. We have a clear strategy, a focused mission and a firm commitment to delivering value to our shareholders, consumers and partners."
Strategy Maximizes AOL's Core Strengths
AOL's strategy leverages the company's core strengths to build world-class content, scaled advertising solutions, and integrated messaging. The company presented its strategy to employees on July 24, 2009 and is executing on that vision.
• AOL is one of the largest producers of quality content on the Web. It aims to expand its content offerings significantly and become the largest scaled player in local content and platforms.
o AOL owns and operates more than 80 premium branded and niche content sites, including more than 20 official and custom-built sites that rank in the top five in their U.S. comScore Media Metrix category*
o Approximately 80 percent of AOL's content is originally produced by its 3,500 staff and freelance journalists
o AOL's top editorial talent includes nine Pulitzer Prize Winners, seven Baseball Hall of Fame Voters, three Heisman Trophy Voters and two Pro Football Hall of Fame Voters
o Seed.com, AOL's new, premium content management system, offers a unique opportunity for talented professional contributors to be seen, heard and read on AOL's properties and meets the needs of consumers for relevant content; Seed.com is now available as a beta version
o Patch, AOL's hyper-local platform, is expected to reach 30 U.S. communities by the end of the year, with plans to launch hundreds more sites in towns across the United States in 2010
• AOL is a scaled player and top brand in the Internet advertising business. It aims to become the largest display platform for publishers.
o AOL reaches consumers around the world with its powerful collection of content and services. AOL's domestic audience is nearly 100 million unique visitors per month and more than 250 million unique visitors globally*
o On the network side of the business, Advertising.com connects publishers to more than nine out of 10 U.S. consumers online – and has consistently ranked as the number one ad network in terms of reach for the last five years, according to comScore
o AOL couples scale with one of the most advanced optimization technologies in the industry, AdLearn, making it possible to target any audience segment and analyze ad campaign performance in real time
o In September, AOL's ADTECH ad-serving solutions company launched ADTECH Analytics, which provides detailed insights into the performance of ad campaigns, ad placements and banner sizes, and records and simulates sales trends
o AOL Advertising partners with leading world brands and is one of the top producers of custom advertising programs, including "GMC Trade Secrets," "Good News Now" with Sears, "The Savings Experiment" with Bank of America and Verizon's "Moviefone Minute," among others
• AOL offers a powerful suite of communications products and services. It aims to offer users best-in-class experiences.
o Beginning today, AOL Mail has approximately 65 percent fewer ads, an easier sign-in experience and a new message reading pane that helps users get through their email faster
o AOL, which pioneered instant messaging and online presence with AIM and the "Buddy List," continues to offer one of the leading instant messaging services in the United States
o More recently, AOL embraced various social networks and launched Lifestream, which displays friends' status updates from Facebook, Twitter, and many others all within the AIM experience
o AOL has launched dozens of leading iPhone apps, including AIM, AOL Radio and DailyFinance, that have totaled more than 22 million downloads
In addition, AOL has formed AOL Ventures to attract and develop innovative initiatives in an environment that encourages entrepreneurialism and to invest in early-stage, externally-developed opportunities and employee-originated ideas.
AOL common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol "AOL." The company has approximately 106 million shares of its common stock issued and outstanding. Time Warner completed the spin-off of AOL on December 9, 2009 through the distribution of one share of AOL common stock for every 11 shares of Time Warner common stock held by Time Warner stockholders of record as of 5 pm ET on November 27, 2009.
The listing requirements of the NYSE require that AOL disclose that additional information is available upon which the NYSE relied to list AOL's common stock. Such information is included in AOL's listing application with the NYSE and is available to the public upon request.
*comScore Media Metrix, October 2009
Note for Editors:
Please join us for a press conference call from the NYSE on December 10, 2009, from 10:30-11:15 a.m. ET. The call will be led by Tim Armstrong, who will be accompanied by the AOL executive team. He will open the call with remarks, and then take questions.
Toll Free: 800-857-7446; Toll Dial-In: 210-839-8608; Passcode: AOL
(Note: You will need to provide your first and last name, and outlet to participate on the call.)
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a leading global Web services company with an extensive suite of brands and offerings and a substantial worldwide audience. AOL's business spans online content, products and services that the company offers to consumers, publishers and advertisers. AOL is focused on attracting and engaging consumers and providing valuable online advertising services on both AOL's owned and operated properties and third-party websites. In addition, AOL operates one of the largest Internet subscription access services in the United States, which serves as a valuable distribution channel for AOL's consumer offerings.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This document includes certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning future business conditions, plans and prospects, growth opportunities and the outlook for AOL's business and industry based upon currently available information. These statements are based on management's current expectations or beliefs, and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the statements herein due to changes in economic, business, competitive, technological, strategic and/or regulatory factors and other factors affecting the operation of AOL's business and industry. More detailed information about these factors may be found in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in AOL's Registration Statement on Form 10, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AOL is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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