AOL posted its Q2 earnings this morning, and it’s mostly bad news for the company. Despite a five percent bump in advertising dollars for the quarter, subscription rates – yes, some people STILL pay for AOL – were down 23 percent, and Patch continues to be a money pit for the company.
Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, tried to keep the focus on the ad increases, of course. “AOL’s return to global advertising growth for the first time since 2008 reflects the hard work of our team andanother meaningful step forward in the comeback of the AOL brand,” he said.
But it’s too little, too late. As Forbes notes today, AOL seems to be treading water. The brand lost its relevance sometime around 2004, and that might be a generous estimate. Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research tells Forbes, “Basically, AOL is a dead brand. Some companies continue to exist, but in a zombie state. They don’t die off, they don’t grow, they just hang around.”
While we’re not suggesting the typical way to end a zombie’s lumbering (cutting off its head), it’s obvious that something has to give. Otherwise we’ll all be forced to watch AOL slowly, painfully, dwindle into nothing.