AOL posted its 20th month of consecutive year-over-year growth for unique visitors, according to the September 2008 comScore Media Metrix report. Unique visitors to AOL’s programming sites grew 8% year over year to 53.8 million in September and page views more than doubled, up 102% year over year to 3.9 billion, while engagement (total minutes) grew 33% year over year in September. In addition, page views to AOL.com grew 34%, unique visitors were up 12% and total visits were up 15%, driven in part by a new strategy to open the site to third-party content and services.
“We continue to build our audience and show strong growth in unique visitors, engagement and total visits to our vertical content sites by providing compelling and interactive experiences,” said Bill Wilson, Executive Vice President, AOL Programming. “By building sites that focus on passion points, and by opening AOL.com to third-party content providers, as well as our own many new content sites, we are able to provide interesting and customizable options for both consumers and advertisers.”
In September, AOL took the first step in opening AOL.com to third-party content and services with the launch of e-mail aggregation, making it the first portal to let consumers access multiple e-mail services from one online location. Over the next few weeks, AOL.com will launch new tools and features to further personalize the user experience, by bringing together third-party content and services from across the Internet. The launch will include a new social network aggregator module that will allow consumers to post status updates to multiple social networks at once and also provide profile activity information including new friend requests, status updates and mail messages from AIM, Bebo and several select third-party sites, among other enhancements.
In addition to the strong traffic to AOL.com, many of AOL’s programming sites continue to appear in the top three of their categories for unique visitors, according to comScore Media Metrix.