AOL: Become a video content company, fast, or die, slowly?

The Economist carries some dire news about a company that’s long been the Farah Fawcett of Time Warner: Once ravishingly beautiful, now, just a bit crazy and sagging.

Viz, “the company is at least managing to maintain its page views, despite losing subscribers. But its rivals in internet advertising are rapidly increasing their page views and AOL will need to add page views if it is to grow in future. As for its total sales of advertising, which increased by 26% in the first quarter to $392m (or a fifth of total revenues), Mr Haverty says that the performance was acceptable, but unexciting compared with Yahoo!, which increased its advertising revenues by 35% from a much bigger base.”

In other words, with subscribers dropping like flies, AOL needs to start seeing itself as a brand that generates content, pronto. Yahoo! is getting into video, albeit with none of the flourish of MSN’s recent splash into Hollywood, but at least Lloyd Braun is trying.

It might be time to relocate to New York or Hollywood – Virginia clearly isn’t doing AOL any favors.

Oh, and another reason to read the Economist’s piece? The headline is briliant:

AOL:From 🙂 to 🙁