Huffington Post and AOL– An Un-Strategic Alliance?


A few days back, on February 7th, the Blog world was hit with a surprise announcement: AOL is buying The Huffington Post for $315 m.

Before getting to the reaction or the possible analysis of the decision, let’s hit down a little and look at the history of these two Brands individually.

AOL Inc: Founded in 1983, America Online is an American global Internet Service Provider and Media Company. Recently the service provided has increasingly been the point of discussion or criticism by its users. Moreover, due to other major Websites AOL has been losing viewer interest.

The Huffington Post: A progressive American News Website and Blog primarily featuring political news sources, columnists and commentaries. Launched in 2005, the site’s initial domain was Politics but with a passage of time the genres were extended to Media, Business, Entertainment, World News etc.

Now, the recent announcement not only would make the deal one of the biggest in consumer internet space in recent years but also one of the biggest online publishing acquisitions related to a blog.

But HoffPo isn’t just some blog, it’s a naturally opinionated, fairly political blog and AOL, considering its recent history, is once again trying to succeed by buying off other properties. So what is the problem exactly? The Website’s political history is the major obstacle in this scenario. Moreover, keeping the website’s political credibility in line with the company’s content strategy would be quite a challenge too. To elaborate it further, the Huffington Post’s real time political focus and AOL’s success formula of mass producing profitable content seems contradictory.

The blogosphere has also been stunned by the news and many have expressed serious concerns over the apparently clear but meaningfully ambiguous statements of Tim Armstrong (CEO AOL) and Arianna Huffington (one of the founders of HuffPo).

So, what is the bottom-line of this seemingly bizarre situation?

This seemingly Un-Strategic Alliance is a desperate attempt on the part of AOL to seek attention and turn the viewers’ eyeballs towards them whereas Huffington was unable to refuse the large amount of money offered.

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