AOL (TWX) reported revenues down $235 million, or 23% y/y, to $777 million this morning. $92 million of that plunge came from drops in advertising.
Needless to say, that’s not good for a company that wants to be an ad-supported content business when it grows up (again).
Our view is that the main problem for AOL is that much (25%-50%) of its traffic comes from AOL’s dwindling group of ISP customers who go straight to AOL.com or their AOL email when they sign on the Internet.
Somehow, AOL has to convince those people (or others) that AOL sites are worth visiting even when its they are not the default first stop.
But a reader who claims to be an AOL ad sales insider says there are more problems than just that:
Display Ad Sales is off because of the following:
Advertisers aren’t buying the content strategy.
The Ad Sales Team is in constant turmoil. Changing strategies continue. Many offices have serious management and sales team conflict and/or poor leaders.
New networks are offering much better targeting and it is partly coming from AOL.
AOL is not a nimble fast acting sales org. Never has been never will be.
With the new AMP team coming,the focus on display sales and the pending layoffs…the sales team is lacking focus. They are running scared, sucking up to new Googlers and/or interviewing because of the impending layoffs.