AOL: Display ads up, profits and subscriptions down

aol baffles with new brand and logo  fish

AOL has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2011, and the company is eager to position its latest figures as the start of a turnaround for the beleaguered online media company. And AOL does have some numbers to crow about: revenue it earns from display advertising across its properties increased 4 percent to $130.5 million during the quarter, the first time AOL has seen an uptick in its display advertising numbers since the end of 2007. However, the company’s overall advertising revenue remained “essentially flat”, subscription revenue declined 24 percent compared to a year ago as the company continues to shed Internet access subscribers, and total revenues for the company were down to $551.4 million for the quarter, down 17 percent from a year ago. AOL’s overall income for the quarter was a mere $4.7 million, down 86 percent compared to a year ago.

“Today represents an important milestone in the turnaround of AOL as global display revenue grew for the first time since Q4 2007,” said AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong, in a statement. “I am proud of the work completed thus far and we remain focused on accelerating our momentum through continued execution of our strategy to become the premier digital content company.”

AOL, now based in New York, has been struggling to convert itself from a walled-garden Internet access provider to a broad collection of ad-supported sites and services since its separate from Time Warner in 2009. AOL’s strategy for broadening its content offerings has been largely based on acquisitions: in addition to its recent high-profile takeover of The Huffington Post earlier this year for $315 million (and commensurate layoffs), AOL has been building on its 2009 acquisition of local-news oriented Patch and attempting to build on its tech blog acquisitions like Engadget and Techcrunch.

Although an uptick in revenue for display advertising may bode well for AOL’s future, it was the only non-negative number in the company’s quarterly results, and AOL still faces significant challenges. Search and contextual ad revenue for the quarter was down 21 percent fo $95.8 million, and overall advertising revenue was down 11 percent to $354.3 million for the quarter. A> says it has about $381.8 million in cash in the bank.

Investors nonetheless responded positively to AOL’s results, sending the company’s stock as much as 10 percent higher in trading after the results were released.

Product Review

It's the thinnest touchscreen laptop, but HP's Spectre doesn't sacrifice speed

Our HP Spectre 13 review evaluates the “world’s thinnest touchscreen notebook” to see if it’s possible to make something smaller while increasing its speed and longevity. Spoiler alert -- it is. But does that make it a laptop you…

Here's the Samsung Galaxy S9's new Android 9.0 Pie interface

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are here. The flagship devices boast some awesome new features and a powerful new processor. Here's everything you need to know about these Samsung phones.

88 percent of the $800-plus smartphones sold last quarter were iPhones

Apple may not sell as many smartphones as Samsung overall, but according to a new report that varies depending on price. The company sold 43 percent of all smartphones over $400, and 88 percent of those over $800 last quarter.

Winamp media player might be back from the dead, with Windows 10 support

Winamp might be back from the dead, and it's bringing support for Microsoft Windows 10 with the first new software release since its acquisition by Radionomy in 2014. Fans of the media player will also enjoy new features and bug fixes.

Dive head first into the best experiences available now on the Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift brought back virtual reality and put a modern twist to it. Grab your Touch Controllers, put on your VR headset, and jump into the fun with some of the best Oculus Rift games available now.

Ripple cryptocurrency jumps 70 percent in 24 hours after news of bank deal

The Ripple cryptocurrency has seen its value reach the highest point since late 2017 after a tease from a Ripple Labs regulator suggested it could soon be adopted by banks for international money transfers.

Google tells lawmakers it allows other apps access to your Gmail

Google admitted to lawmakers in a letter that its privacy policy allows third-party apps access to the email messages of its 1.4 billion Gmail users. Google says the apps need the consent of users before access is granted.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.

Tired of paying for shipping? Here's how to set up an Amazon Prime account

Want to know how to sign up for Amazon Prime? It's easier than you might think and even comes with a free trial so that you can enjoy all of its benefits for 30 days risk-free. Just follow these steps.
Social Media

Twitter squashes security bug leaking direct messages since 2017

The team at Twitter has discovered and corrected a security bug within one of their developer APIs that has been leaking sensitive information sent via direct messages to business accounts.

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…
Product Review

Controversy has dogged the MacBook Pro lately. Is it still a good purchase?

The MacBook Pro is a controversial laptop these days -- and that's unfortunate. Due to some divisive changes Apple made to the functionality of the MacBook Pro, fans are more split. Does the 8th-gen refresh change that?

What's the best laptop? We've reviewed a lot of them, and this is our answer

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. The laptops we've chosen for our best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while…