AOL Acquires TechCrunch, 5min, and Thing Labs

Oct 01, 2010

On September 28, AOL announced the acquisition of two potentially major sources of content for the company, the TechCrunch network of news and information sites and 5min Media, which owns and maintains the web's largest video syndication network. The company also announced its acquisition of Thing Labs, makers of social media tool Brizzly.

AOL announced its acquisition of TechCrunch at the Disrupt conference, which is itself hosted by TechCrunch. Founded by Michael Arrington, TechCrunch operates a global network of dedicated properties from Europe to Japan, including MobileCrunch, CrunchGear, TechCrunchIT, GreenTech, TechCrunchTV and CrunchBase. The TechMeme Leaderboard ranks TechCrunch as the No. 1 source of breaking tech news online, followed by AOL's Engadget.

There had been rumors that AOL was planning to acquire 5min Media, however the company officially announced it early in the day on the 28th. 5min is one of the world's leading video syndication network with a library of more than 200,000 categorized, tagged and rated videos from more than 1,000 of the world's largest media companies and professional independent video producers. Founded in 2006 and headquartered in New York City with offices in Tel Aviv, 5min Media has been named the largest U.S. independent video property by comScore, with more than 20 million unique viewers and more than 130 million video streams (including ad and content videos) in the U.S. in August 2010.

The same day AOL also announced its acquisition of Thing Labs, Inc., whose Brizzly family of web-based social software lets create, share, explore and enjoy content. According to AOL, the Brizzly team will play a key role in helping the company provide consumers with the best possible venues to discover and share content with each other. AOL expects to integrate aspects of the Brizzly service into its popular Lifestream product, its social aggregator and publisher, and AIM, AOL's flagship messaging platform.

Founded in June 2008 and based in San Francisco, CA, Thing Labs creates web-based software that geared towards helping users share content. Its applications include Brizzly, which allows users to view and post updates to Twitter and Facebook; Brizzly Picnic, a group chat site; Brizzly Guide, a site dedicated to explaining social media trending topics in real time, and Brizzly for iPhone.


Read More about AOL's Content Strategy on the EContent Blog: AOL Acquisitions: Double Down on Content