AOL has acquired Sphere, a blog content engine, in the company's latest acquisition.
AOL has been on a bit of a tear of late and Sphere is its latest forward thinking move (Techmeme). It owns the largest ad network, gobbled up Bebo and continues to add smaller tuck-in acquisitions to reinvent itself. AOL reportedly bought Sphere for about $25 million.
Sphere, which was founded in 2005, will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AOL, according to a statement. Tony Conrad, CEO of Sphere, had the following to say about the deal:
Our business approach will also remain unchanged - start-up-style, with the same hunger and spirit Sphere was founded on. We are joining AOL at an opportune time. AOL is doing what great, sustainable business do every so often – they’re reinventing themselves. As the business model of the oldest and one of the biggest Internet businesses evolves, Sphere becomes an important piece of their strategy to reach across and engage the web. In the past year, we’ve watched AOL as a partner, move aggressively to build their audience (new services, new web-site that interacts with users, acquisitions in the community space) and their Platform-A advertising business, and they’re making great progress on both fronts. They’ve seen steady growth as a result of the extensive programming and product upgrades they’ve made in the past year. Platform-A, meanwhile, reaches 90% of the domestic online audience and has some of the most sophisticated targeting and measurement tools on the market, positioning them very well in the growing online display ad market. We think it’s a huge advantage to become part of a suite of services that understands how Internet users access/ consume content, and how to intelligently monetize in tandem with that content. This is a win-win for our partners, AOL and Sphere.