For the first time in three years, AOL's earnings report showed an uptick in global advertising revenue, which climbed to $319 million
This morning, AOL released its earnings for the second quarter of 2011. While AOL's stock price continues to fall, the numbers were far more promising than I had anticipated. The content, online advertising and Internet access company (that's a mouthful) reported a net loss of just $11.8 million on the back of total revenues in excess of $542 million. Compare that number to $1.06 billion, which is what AOL lost in the second quarter of 2010, just a year ago.
Subscription revenue, as expected, continues to plummet as those who grew up with AOL's "20 free hours this month!" CDs realize that they're not getting enough from the service to continue paying. Over the past year, that column in the spreadsheets has dropped 23 percent, from about $260 million to $201 million. But AOL has finally started to offset that loss with gains in advertising revenue, which climbed five percent over the past year.
This is the first time in three years that AOL's quarterly report showed an uptick in global advertising. While money is still being lost, the most important trend lines are black, moving in the right direction. Growth in this area "reflects the hard work of our team and another meaningful step forward in the comeback of the AOL brand, CEO Tim Armstrong said in a statement. "AOL is singularly focused on becoming the next great media company for the digital age and we have positioned the Company's best people, technology and assets in front of some of the largest opportunities on the Internet."