Time Warner announced yesterday it will spin out AOL as a separate company.
Time Warner owns 95 percent of AOL and will buy the remaining 5 percent from Google (for an undisclosed amount) by September before the new AOL floats on the stock exchange. The new AOL will include the web access business, web publishing and social networking including Bebo (which sold last year to AOL for $850 million) and the Platform-A advertising program (which hasn't contributed to the point yet hoped indicated by AOL's decrease of 23% in revenue).
The upside for AOL is that it remains a wide-reaching online ad network and can boast many successful Web sites, which remain a relatively big draw, including celebrity gossip site TMZ and tech blog Engadget, averaged 106 million unique U.S. visitors each month during the first quarter, according to comScore Media Metrix -- a drop from 110 million visitors in the first three months of 2008. The company ranks fourth for traffic, with Google, Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. coming in first, second and third.
Quick View at Unique Visitor Metrics for AOL (source: Compete.com):