Proof that ‘there’s money in them there online readers’ appears to have come with the news that web portal company AOL has bought the Huffington Post website for $315m.
Blog-style news website Huffington Post now claims around 25 million visitors a month. For AOL it is the company’s latest bid to halt a decade-long decline and transform itself predominately into a content company.
Arianna Huffington herself will head up editorial for the new combined company which, according to the New York Times, will have the potential to reach 100 million readers a month.
The Huffington Post was launched in 2005 with $1m as a left-leaning blog by its eponymous founder – an author and talkshow pundit.
According to the NYT, estimated revenue for the Huffington Post has been growing fast, from $31m last year to more than $60m expected for this year. Much of Huffington’s traffic derives from aggregating content from other sources, but it has also been investing more in its own original editorial.
Last year AOL bought technology news blog TechCrunch for $25 million to supplement its technology coverage.
In November another fledgling blog-style news website in the US entered the major league when the Daily Beast announced it was merging with the magazine Newsweek.