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AOL Inc.  (AOL)
Other Ticker:  
 
 


AOL Inc. Segments

 
Display Advertising
   20.88 % of total Revenue
Search & contextual
   18.62 % of total Revenue
AOL Properties
   39.5 % of total Revenue
Third Party Network
   37.05 % of total Revenue
Total advertising
   76.55 % of total Revenue
Subscription revenue
   22.65 % of total Revenue
Other revenue
   0.8 % of total Revenue
Brand Group
   30.94 % of total Revenue
Membership Group
   29.21 % of total Revenue
AOL Networks
   44.76 % of total Revenue
Corporate & Other
   -4.1 % of total Revenue
 

Business Segments (March 31, 2015)
Revenues
(in millions $)
I. Quarter
%
(of total Revenues)
(March 31, 2015)
Income
(in millions $)
I. Quarter
%
(Profit Margin)
Display Advertising
130.50 20.88 % 0.00 -
Search & contextual
116.40 18.62 % 0.00 -
AOL Properties
246.90 39.5 % 0.00 -
Third Party Network
231.60 37.05 % 0.00 -
Total advertising
478.50 76.55 % 0.00 -
Subscription revenue
141.60 22.65 % 0.00 -
Other revenue
5.00 0.8 % 0.00 -
Brand Group
193.40 30.94 % 12.90 6.67 %
Membership Group
182.60 29.21 % 126.60 69.33 %
AOL Networks
279.80 44.76 % -9.80 -
Corporate & Other
-25.60 -4.1 % 104.10 -
Total
625.10 100 % 233.80 37.4 %

• View Income Statement • View Competition by Segment • View Annual Report

Growth rates by Segment (March 31, 2015)
Y/Y Revenue
%
I. Quarter
Q/Q Revenue
%
(March 31, 2015)
Y/Y Income
%
I. Quarter
Q/Q Income
%
Display Advertising
-4.04 % -23.91 % - -
Search & contextual
19.26 % 7.58 % - -
AOL Properties
5.69 % -11.73 % - -
Third Party Network
23.92 % -10.89 % - -
Total advertising
10.41 % -11.32 % - -
Subscription revenue
-5.54 % -4.39 % - -
Other revenue
-61.24 % -77.88 % - -
Brand Group
8.17 % -11.73 % -63.76 % -64.66 %
Membership Group
-6.98 % -6.26 % -13.23 % -10.53 %
AOL Networks
19.78 % -15.37 % - -
Corporate & Other
- - - -33.57 %
Total
4.85 % -11.99 % 109.31 % -32.85 %

• View Growth rates • View Competitors Segment Growth • View Market Share

To get more information on Aol's Display Advertising, Search & contextual, AOL Properties, Third Party Network, Total advertising, Subscription revenue, Other revenue, Brand Group, Membership Group, AOL Networks, Corporate & Other, Total segment. Select each division with the arrow.

  Aol's

Business Segments Description



Display Advertising Revenues
Display advertising revenues are generated through the display of graphical advertisements as well as performance-based advertising. Agreements for advertising on AOL Properties typically take the following forms:

impression-based contracts in which we provide “impressions” (an “impression” is delivered when an advertisement appears in web pages viewed by users) in exchange for a fixed fee (generally stated as cost-per-thousand impressions);

time-based contracts in which we provide a minimum number of impressions over a specified time period for a fixed fee; or

performance-based contracts in which performance is measured in terms of either “click-throughs” (when a user clicks on a company’s advertisement) or other user actions such as product/customer registrations, survey participation, sales leads or product purchases.

Search and Contextual
We offer AOL Search on AOL Properties. We provide our consumers with a general, internet-based search experience that utilizes the organic web search results of Google, Inc. (“Google”) and additional links on the search results page that showcase contextually relevant AOL and third-party content and information, as well as provide a variety of search-related features (such as suggesting related searches to help users further refine their search queries). We also provide our consumers with relevant paid text-based search advertising through our relationship with Google, in which we provide consumers sponsored link ads in response to their search queries. In addition, we offer vertical search services (i.e., search within a specific content category) and mobile search services on AOL Properties.

Third Party Network Advertising Revenues

We also generate advertising revenues through the sale of advertising on third party websites. Our advertising offerings on the Third Party Network consist primarily of the sale of display advertising and also include search and contextual advertising. Advertising arrangements for the sale of Third Party Network inventory typically take the form of impression-based contracts or performance-based contracts. In order to generate advertising revenues on the Third Party Network, we historically incurred higher traffic acquisition costs (TAC) as compared to advertising on AOL Properties. We currently market our offerings to publishers on the Third Party Network under the brand “Advertising.com.”

Subscription Access Service

Our AOL-brand subscription access service, which we offer to consumers in the United States for a monthly fee, is a valuable distribution channel for AOL Properties. Our access service subscribers are important users of AOL Properties and engaging both present and former access service subscribers is an important component of our strategy. In addition, our subscription access service will remain an important source of revenue and cash flow for us in the near term.
In addition to our content, products and services that are available to all online consumers, an AOL-brand access subscription provides members with dial-up access to the internet and, depending on the applicable price plan, various degrees of enhanced safety and security features, technical support and other benefits. In addition, we continue to offer internet access services under the CompuServe and Netscape brands.
Our major access service partners are Verizon Communications Inc. (formerly MCI Communications Services, Inc.) and PAETEC iTel LLC (“PAETEC”), which provide us with modem networks and related services for a substantial portion of our subscription access service. We have agreed to commit a significant portion of our access service subscribers’ total dial-up network hours to the Verizon and PAETEC networks. More specifically, 50% of our total dial-up network hours are presently committed to Verizon, and 25% of our total dial-up network hours are presently committed to PAETEC.

 

The Brand Group
The Brand Group seeks to be a leading publisher of relevant and engaging online content and provider of engaging online consumer products and services, by utilizing highly scalable publishing platforms and content management systems. The Brand Group consists of AOL’s portfolio of distinct and unique content brands as well as certain service brands with a focus on news, local, women/lifestyle and technology. Through our diverse network of sites, we seek to reach a global audience on many platforms and devices. Additionally, we offer advertisers and agencies powerful, comprehensive and efficient online tools to effectively deliver advertising and reach targeted audiences across Brand Group properties.
Brand Group offerings include original content produced through our large network of content creators, which includes professional journalists from new and traditional media, politicians, celebrities, academics, policy experts, freelance writers and bloggers, aggregated content from third parties and user-generated content. Our content offerings are made available to broad audiences through sites such as AOL.com and The Huffington Post, as well as to niche audiences on highly-targeted, branded properties, such as StyleList and TechCrunch. Additionally, we seek to enter joint ventures and strategic partnerships with third parties with established brands in an effort to expand our content offerings. To facilitate the intake, creation, management and publication of original content, we utilize publishing platforms and content management systems that are designed to scale in a cost-effective manner in order to produce a large variety of relevant content for consumers. In some instances, we have entered into third party partnerships in certain content verticals, which typically provide that the Brand Group receives a share of advertising revenue sold on a co-branded property.
The Brand Group offers many highly engaging and relevant brands, including:

• AOL.com—our welcome screen and navigation hub for entering other Brand Group and Membership Group properties and the internet. AOL.com aggregates compelling and engaging content and provides easy access to important digital services such as AOL Search and AOL Mail.


• The Huffington Post—an influential news, opinion and lifestyle website with moderated user comments, which also includes many sections that offer news and perspectives on different subject areas including multicultural issues, healthy living and politics. We have continued our expansion of The Huffington Post internationally largely through our partnerships with established local media companies. In 2012, The Huffington Post expanded its operations into Italy, Spain and France and we seek to continue the expansion of The Huffington Post in 2013 and beyond. Also in 2012,we launched HP Live!, a live online streaming network which leverages The Huffington Post’s community and social platform and invites instantaneous viewer response by smart phones, tablets or webcam.


• Patch—a community-specific news and information platform dedicated to providing comprehensive and trusted local coverage for individual towns and communities. We have developed and acquired platforms that are designed to facilitate the production, aggregation, distribution and consumption of local content. This local content includes professional editorial content, user-generated content and business listings. We continue to focus on increasing operating efficiencies and on exploring alternative revenue streams. We had approximately 900 Patch towns as of December 31, 2012.


• MapQuest—a leading online mapping and directions service. We seek to continue to supplement our MapQuest offerings beyond navigation through the launch of original travel content and enhanced trip planning features. We plan on further refining our mobile products with features and enhancements that enable users to experience trips more efficiently. MapQuest also licenses its business-to-business services to third party customers.


• Entertainment brands—Moviefone, AOL Music and Cambio


• Technology and Marketplace brands—TechCrunch, Engadget, DailyFinance, AOL Autos and AOL Travel



Lifestyle brands—including Games.com, StyleList, Kitchen Daily, Homesessive and Makers

Increasingly, consumers access the internet on devices other than a personal computer. We continue to develop and offer applications for our existing desktop products and services that are optimized for display on alternative devices, such as smartphones, tablets and internet-enabled televisions. In addition, we also continue to develop and offer applications specific to such devices. We plan to continue investing in mobile applications within the Brand Group, prioritizing launches of key brands, collaborating with other providers in order to have our mobile applications included in their offerings, and expanding our mobile advertising platform.
We offer AOL Search on the Brand Group properties. We provide our consumers with a general, internet-based search experience that utilizes the organic web search results of Google, Inc. (“Google”) and additional links on the search results page that showcase contextually relevant AOL and third-party content and information, as well as provide a variety of search-related features (such as suggesting related searches to help users further refine their search queries). We also provide our consumers with relevant paid text-based search advertising through our relationship with Google, in which we provide consumers sponsored link ads in response to their search queries.
We also offer contextually relevant advertising from both Google and AOL’s proprietary products. These advertisements are placed on sites targeted by advertisers based on the content of the websites. We also market our search services through search engine marketing, working with marketing partners to drive traffic to, and maximize the utilization of, our search services.
While the majority of AOL search revenues are reflected within the Brand Group, there are also search revenues within the Membership Group and AOL Networks for search offerings provided in each of those segments.
Content, products and services on Brand Group properties are generally available to online consumers and we are focused on attracting greater numbers of consumers to our offerings. In addition, we utilize various distribution channels as described below which allow us to more directly reach online consumers.

Certain of our Brand Group properties, such as our portals AOL.com and HuffingtonPost.com, serve as valuable distribution channels for our content, products and services as does the AOL-brand subscription access service. We also use a variety of other distribution channels, including agreements with manufacturers of digital devices and other consumer electronics and mobile carriers. We also distribute our content, products and services directly to consumers on the open web and through the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, the Amazon Appstore and the Android Market. Additional distribution channels include toolbars, widgets, co-branded portals and websites, mobile aggregators, third-party websites and social networks that link to AOL Properties. AOL seeks to make its content, products and services, available on social networks, whether offered directly or by means of partnerships with social network operators. We also utilize search engine marketing and search engine optimization as distribution methods. In addition, we make available open standards and protocols for use by third-party developers to enhance, promote and distribute our properties.

The Membership Group
The Membership Group is focused on delivering world-class experiences to our consumers who rely on AOL products and properties every day. The Membership Group creates integrated experiences that allow AOL consumers to have access to useful content from important brands, communication tools and valuable services. As with the Brand Group, AOL Advertising offers advertisers and agencies tools to effectively deliver advertising and reach targeted audiences across Membership Group properties. AOL Search is also offered on Membership Group properties.

The Membership Group includes our subscription access service, which provides a number of online services including narrow-band (telephone dial-up) access to the internet. Our access service subscribers are important users of Brand Group and Membership Group properties and engaging both present and former access service subscribers is an important component of our strategy. In addition to our content, products and services that are available to all online consumers, an AOL-brand access subscription provides members with dial-up access to the internet and, depending on the applicable price plan, various degrees of enhanced safety and security features, technical support along with other benefits and discounts. Beginning in late 2011, we began a process to simplify the price structure of our access subscription plans and continued to focus on the valuable bundles of useful products and services we offer consumers along with their access service. In addition, we continue to offer internet access services to consumers under the CompuServe and Netscape brands.

Our access service partners provide us with modem networks and related services for a substantial portion of our subscription access service. We have agreed to commit a significant portion of our access service subscribers’ total dial-up network hours to these networks. Upon expiration of these agreements, we expect to continue our relationships with our service partners or enter into agreements with one or more other providers of modem networks and related services.

We are developing, testing and marketing additional curated AOL and third-party products and services that we offer to internet consumers generally a la carte or on a bundled basis. Some products or services are offered to access subscribers for no additional charge or at a discounted rate in order to increase customer satisfaction and retention. Computer tools, maintenance and warranty services, online technical support, anti-virus software, identity theft protection, online and social media privacy and reputation monitoring services, diet and fitness services, online learning and other lifestyle services are currently offered and additional categories may be added in the future. Consumers are able to manage their products and services through an online tool that facilitates self-management of these products and services, including the ability to add or cancel a product or service. Currently, the majority of the consumers of our paid services products are also access subscribers.
We also offer free communications tools, such as AOL Mail and AIM, which are leading e-mail and instant messaging services in the United States. AOL Mail and AIM are significant sources of our consumer traffic and engagement.
We distribute Membership Group properties through channels similar to the Brand Group as described above.

AOL Networks
AOL Networks’ focus is to position AOL as a global partner for leading publishers, advertisers and agencies seeking to maximize the value of their online brands through premium formats, video, content, networks and platforms. AOL Networks provides services and solutions that focus on acquiring inventory and content from online publishers, adding value to that inventory and content, and selling it to online advertisers. We acquire unsold advertising inventory on third party websites, which we refer to as the Third Party Network, in addition to Brand Group and Membership Group offerings and then use our proprietary optimization, targeting and delivery technology to best match advertisers with available inventory.
AOL Networks includes the following:

• Advertising.com—the foundation of AOL Networks which serves as the third party inventory acquisition, technology, data and insights arm of AOL’s advertising sales groups;


• goviral—a global online video distribution network;


• AOL On—a platform of AOL’s complete video offerings and a curated video hub for consumers that offers premium video across a variety of channels that can be experienced on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TV devices;


• ADTECH—our own proprietary ad serving technology (i.e., technology that places advertisements on websites and digital devices) that is the primary vehicle for placements of advertisements on Brand Group and Membership Group properties; in addition, we license this ad serving technology to third parties through our ADTECH subsidiaries in the United States and Europe (“ADTECH”);


• Pictela—a provider of a global technology platform for serving and distributing high-definition branded content, including videos, photos and applications, across online advertising; and


• Sponsored Listings—allows advertisers to target text-based and text plus image-based ads on Brand Group and Membership Group properties and within the Third Party Network with a high degree of control over ad placement.

AOL Networks offers a display advertising interface that gives advertisers the ability to target and control the delivery of their advertisements and provides advertisers and agencies with relevant display analytics and measurement tools. Through AOL Networks, we can offer our advertising technology products and solutions to advertisers, publishers and other technology companies individually or on a bundled basis. We aim to develop our current relationships with publishers and advertisers and continue to expand the number of publishers and advertisers we serve through the products and services we offer on the Third Party Network. Currently, a significant portion of our revenues on the Third Party Network is generated from the advertising inventory acquired from a limited number of publishers.

We utilize AdLearn, a proprietary scheduling, optimization and delivery technology that employs a set of complex mathematical algorithms that seek to optimize advertisement placements across the Third Party Network and the available inventory on Brand Group and Membership Group properties. This optimization is based on expected user response, which is derived from previous user response plus factors such as user segmentation, creative performance and site performance. AdLearn allows performance to be analyzed quickly and advertisement placement to be frequently optimized based on specific objectives, including click-through rate, conversion rate, sales volume and other metrics. We also offer advertisers the ability to target advertisements to specific users using technology that utilizes non-personally identifiable information, such as geographic location, previous exposure to certain advertisements or user behavior online. In the fourth quarter of 2012, we acquired Buysight, Inc. (“Buysight”), a leading provider of retargeting and intent-based targeted advertising which uses data to dynamically render more tailored advertising experiences for advertisers and consumers.

In 2012, we launched AdLearn Open Platform, an extension of our AdLearn technology that allows advertisers and agencies to manage, optimize and analyze online marketing campaigns from one central platform. This platform provides advertisers and agencies with the ability to manage their advertising campaign via our AdLearn optimization technology, real-time bidding capabilities, massive reach and premium inventory on our Third Party Network and on Brand Group and Membership Group properties. Advertisers have the option to use AdLearn Open Platform through self-service or managed-service solutions.
In addition, we launched ADTECH Marketplace, a new global platform which enables premium publishers to optimize advertising revenue by allowing their inventory to be purchased by advertisers on a static or real-time bidding basis, using criteria set by such publishers to customize acceptable buying attributes and increase the value of their inventory.
We have continued to focus on innovation in premium branded display. Our premium advertising format, “Project Devil,” seeks to enhance the consumer experience by improving the aesthetic quality, impact and interactivity of online advertising, while also providing solutions for advertisers looking for innovative ways to showcase their products and services to consumers. AOL Networks has an international presence, primarily in Europe and Canada, with our Advertising.com, ADTECH and goviral offerings. We seek to continue to expand our advertising offerings in key markets.

   

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