AOL has made two acquisitions to boost its content offerings, buying technology news blog TechCrunch and video syndication platform 5min Media. The moves are in line with AOL CEO Tim Armstrong's strategy of turning AOL into a massive provider of original content, as a way to boost user engagement and advertising sales.
TechCrunch, founded in 2005 by Michael Arrington with a focus on covering web startups, will retain its editorial freedom and will co-exist and complement AOL's other technology blogs such as Engadget, the companies said.
"I expect us to build a more significant tech content business overall with TechCrunch as one of the pillars, and immediately get as much TechCrunch content to a wider audience as possible," Armstrong said on stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.
"Can I still say whatever I want? That's part of the deal, right?," Arrington asked.
"We want you to do whatever you've done so far that's made you successful. We will try to be as hands off as possible," Armstrong responded.
In addition to its flagship TechCrunch.com site, TechCrunch publishes sites in Europe and Japan, and blogs focused on specific areas of the technology industry, like MobileCrunch and TechCrunchIT.
The 5min acquisition is intended to beef up AOL's online video offerings across its family of sites. 5min's video repository contains more than 200,000 videos from more than 1,000 media companies and video producers. Based in New York, 5min had more than 20 million unique viewers and streamed more than 130 million videos in the US in August of this year.
AOL didn't disclose financial terms of the deals.