Earnings reporting time for Time Warner. And, in a fashion familiar to those who watch Time Warner—a company where things get done with the alacrity of a sloth dashing through a wading pool filled with molasses—its CEO Jeff Bewkes announced that AOL … well, that eventually there would be an announcement regarding what AOL is going to be doing: “We intend to announce our plans about that very soon.”
AOL’s ad revenues in the last quarter were off 20%. Bear in mind that overall online ad revenues are growing, which means that this drop signifies a poorer performance, relative to its industry sector, than, say, a big-city newspaper publisher with a 25% drop in ad revenues.
Nevertheless, there remain an awful lot of dollars sloshing around AOL—it notched $867 million in revenue in first quarter ’08—and an awful lot of traffic runs through it each day. The company has discussed that it will be launching lots of new sites within its MediaGlow content unit, and over 30 are likely to come this year, including a long-talked-about women’s portal that will compete with the likes of iVillage. (I wrote a column about AOL’s plans in this area last week. Read it here.)
What might some of AOL’s next Web launches be? A study of some trademarks AOL has recently taken out strongly suggests the following will be among them:
Veonovelas (Apparently a site about telenovelas.) Horror Squad (Landing page already up.) Reality Squad or Reality TV Squad (Bet on one of these going live soon.) SciFi Squad (Landing page already up, and set up with AOL blog platform Blogsmith.) Where It’s At (Which will “provide information in the field of music, television, and movies," says the filing Local city guides, perhaps?) Celestrellas (An extremely ouch-worthy name; apparently a celebrity site.) KitchenDaily (Recipes, etc.; bet on this one going live soon, too.) Daytime Squad or Soap Squad (evidently AOL likes the idea of launching sub-brands of their TV Squad blog.) I Am My Hair (a site that will presumably be an offshoot of its Black Voices site, which has a category for I Am My Hair) CityVine (A site that will focus on "information in the field of wine and wine shops.") Central Ground (Which sounds like it could be a comparison shopper site.)
No clue as to what the women’s portal might be called, especially since AOL is using an excellent potential title--Woman Up--for a blog on its just-launched PoliticsDaily.
An AOL spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an inquiry. I'll update this post when she does.