AOL will spin off from Time Warner by the end of the year, CEO Tim Armstrong said during the Media and Money Conference in New York hosted by Nielsen and Dow Jones. Armstrong, a former advertising executive for Google, also reported he hopes to generate a re-embracing of the Internet services and media brand, which has seen declining ad revenue for the past two years.
Armstrong added that online content could be "much better," saying it is where the next development stage of the Internet will be focused.
From Dow Jones Newswires:
“Instead of having our cash swept up to Time Warner, we can use that cash in a different way that makes more sense for AOL,” Armstrong said.
He said the first phase of the Internet's evolution was focused on access, which gave rise to companies like AOL and EarthLink Inc. (ELNK). Then there was a shift toward platforms, like Google and Facebook. The next phase of the Internet's evolution, Armstrong said, will be content.
“If you look at the history of big changes in media distribution, what always winds up being most important to success in the end is having quality content," he said. "Yes, there is a lot of content online now, but we think online content can be much better than it is today, and that's going to be our mission.”