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AOL’s acquisition: display of innovation or content push?

Posted on September 29, 2010

The last couple of years have marked what will no doubt be remembered for one of the most interesting times in PR. We listened to all sorts of noise about the death of news. Newspapers were closing shop, yet hyper-local (and arguably, niche reporting) was hot.  Everyone was dying to be in the social media space, even if they hadn’t figured out why they needed to be there.

Not only was the market for news changing, but the way people communicated and shared news was changing, too. News traveled faster than ever before.  News became more rich and personally relevant than ever before. The news “source” was redefined and brands were invited into the conversation as authorities of their own right. 

Innovation is the topic of conversation here at Airfoil today, just as it was 10 years ago when we opened our doors. At the beginning of the decade, AOL was a significant brand.  Over the course of the decade, some might argue that AOL failed to innovate and was displaced by alternative technologies and companies. TechCrunch was a new media brand that emerged with force during the decade.

AOL’s agreement with TechCrunch makes it clear that no news or tech brand is impervious or absolutely doomed to failure as the result of the recent upheavals. Traditional news brands aren’t the only ones reinventing themselves. Everyone seems to recognize that content is king. And in AOL’s case, they’ve made a move to communicate they mean business.

Can an acquisition be innovative?  Is it indicative of innovative thinking?  

– Jennifer Becker

 

AirFoil Group