AOL Revamps With Niche Sites

Susan Hall

AOL is launching dozens of sites targeted at specialized audiences as it tries to change its image from a dial-up service, according to an Associated Press story in The Washington Post.

The sites include Asylum for young men, WalletPop on personal finance, Spinner on indie music and StyleList on fashion. AOL plans about two dozen sites by the end of the year.

Citing fragmenting of the consumer market, Bill Wilson, AOL's executive vice president for vertical programming, said the company wants to provide many doors for visitors, reports And it should give advertisers more space to target customers, as does Yahoo's Shine.

The AP story quotes analyst Rob Enderle, who blogs for IT Business Edge, talking about AOL's attempts to change its image:

"AOL ... implies old. It implies out of date. If you want to attract a new, young audience to a site, attaching 'AOL' is probably a kiss of death. They are wise to use the new individual property brands."

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