Rumors today state that AOL will buy 5min.com (which I recently used for a weekender). This after they just penned a deal with Google for search and more intense video cooperation. Oh and they brought out Cambio earlier in the year. Peter Kafka, at MediaMemo has stated that AOL will buy 5min.com and we should expect the announcement at any moment. There have been all sorts of rumors about what AOL will buy next with TechCrunch being leading the buzz (as a potential purchase, not as rumor mongers).
AOL also bought StudioNow. The acquisition of StudioNow closed on January 22 and was valued at $36.5 million in cash and stock with a portion of the cash paid out over multiple years. StudioNow connects clients with its more than 3,000 freelance filmmakers, editors, animators, voice talent and writers/producers to create quality, professional video at an affordable price.
It certainly seems that AOL is ready to make a big splash in online video the only question remaining is: are they in time? Well I guess there's also the other big question: will it work for them?
They're not exactly the kings of content that they once were when they ruled the Internet with an iron-grip and an impossible-to-cancel subscription model. They haven't exactly taken a major plunge into online video. Sure they dabble here and there, have some productions and such. But are they looking to take a bigger piece of the pie?
It's hard to determine what it is they're doing. They've already got AOL advertising and video creative tied to that. Perhaps they're going to build out a whole new video content creation and distribution service? Maybe they're planning on bringing out a network of video services like Cambio that all target specific demographics. They've got more wide spread sites like Truveo already as well as video at AOL itself.
Either way they've certainly made some frugal purchases since 5min is expected to be around $50M.