AOL continues its evolution into a multi-pronged media company with the launch of MediaGlow, a new vertical division made up of 70 branded and non-branded niche sites, such as When.com, AOL Autos and TMZ.com. The company expects to have more than 100 niche sites by the end of the year.
MediaGlow is AOL’s third “new” non-portal division. The online pioneer had previously launched People Networks on the back of social networks such as Bebo, AIM and ICQ; and Platform A, the big ad services unit that includes Advertising.com.
MediaGlow is reminiscent, in fact, of AOL’s old Greenhouse program from the mid-1990s, a Ted Leonsis initiative. But its timing is probably much better. And it is more oriented toward an advertising sales program.
“We’re not counting on our portal to drive traffic,” said MediaGlow President Bill Wilson in an interview with MediaWeek. “We are focused on creating as many relevant starting points as possible. It’s a transformation of the company.”