TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington took the stage today to interview AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. It was actually at TechCrunch Disrupt New York last year where Armstrong first approached Arrington about buying TechCrunch. We all know how that worked out.
Armstrong and Arrington touched on a variety of subjects, including AOL’s agressive content strategy. While AOL’s content has remained free, Armstrong does seem to think that a paid content model can work. “It’s a matter of how you do it…but I’m a long term believer in paid content as a strategy.” As he cautions, AOL’s news content doesn’t have a price right now, and Armstrong didn’t reveal any future plans for a paywall but it’s certainly interesting to see that he isn’t totally against the strategy.
Armstrong’s stance is certainly interesting considering other media companies’ recent moves towards adopting paywall, such as The New York Times.
As for more acquisitions, Armstrong told Arrington that there were five to ten companies he interested in acquiring right now, but no acquisitions are imminent.
And on AOL’s overall success as a company considering its new strategy, “it’s a come back,” Armstrong explains. “We’re clear on what we are doing and no competitor who is going to get in the way of us.”
Tim Armstrong was appointed CEO and Chairman of AOL in March 2009. Before becoming the CEO of AOL, Armstrong presided over Google’s North American and Latin American advertising sales and operations teams. His team provided customers with local partnerships as well as centralized sales and services. They worked with some of the world’s most widely recognized brands and advertising agencies in addition to some of the fastest growing medium-sized companies. Armstrong joined Google from Snowball.com, where he was vice president of...