AOL buys Weblogs Inc–a deeper look

Rafat Ali’s broken the story that AOL has acquired Weblogs Inc, the blog company founded by Jason Calcanis and Brian Alvey that includes engadget and Autoblog. Terms of the deal are not known–folks at dinner tonight speculated that the purchase price was $5-15MM (based on estimates od $70,000-1000,000 a month in gross revenues–but other blogosphere reports put the number at $20-40 million–amazing for a company less than 2 years old!
Susan sez: I’ve been waiting for either Calcanis or Denton’s company to be acquired–I thought by a magazine company–but the AOL deal makes sense–they will get a MUCH higher return from these sites than Jason was getting because, even if they run them independently, they can sell their ad inventory and greatly improve both the cost and the network effect.
What will be fascinating will be to see if there is any cross promotion with Time Inc titles serving similar audience segments offline and on site– Parenting and Blogging Baby come to mind, as do Pop Sci and Engadget–those web sites could *license* their content to the corporate parents to beef up their own packaging.
What’s noteworthy here is that–like the acquisition of About.com by the New York Times, this is simultaneously a deal of content acquisition, platform tools and new advertising inventory that the new owners can better monetize.
Congrats, Jason and Brian and everyone on the team!

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  1. Aaron says:

    blogs WAS a buzz after nanotech, what is next?
    the portals like them need new search engines like those people at Quintura are offering at http://www.quintura.com
    that’s the NEXT big thing!

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