The trials and tribulations of AOL are quite well known. Time Warner, perhaps recognizing the inevitable is slowly but surely taking money off the table. It has sliced, diced and pocketed around $3 billion as the company transitions from an “access” to “free” model.
- May 2004: AOL sells Japan business to eAccess for $18.6 million.
- September 2006: AOL sells German broadband business to Telecom Italia for about $853 million.
- September 2006: AOL sells AOL France for $365 million to Neuf Cegetel
- October 2006: AOL UK, the broadband business sold to Carphone Warehouse for $725 million.
- October 2006: AOL sells AOL Call center in Ogden, Utah to Teleperformance USA for an undisclosed amount.
- December 20, 2005: Google buys 5% stake in AOL for $1 billion.
- January 2007: AOL sells paid music service, AOL Music Now to Napster for $15 million, valuing each subscriber at $43 a subscriber. Napster’s 566,000 subscribers are valued at $328 million.
It seems that 2007 will prove to be a challenging year for AOL, as Time Warner contemplates a spin-off. The page views are stagnating and even have started to show a slight dip. For now the company has managed to bring in about $2 billion in revenues every quarter. How long is that going to last? . We will find out in a couple of weeks if the so-called free model is actually working. What are the other portions of the company they can hock to others? Any suggestions?