AOL programming sites hit all-time high traffic numbers and marked the 21st month of consecutive year-over-year growth for unique visitors, according to the October 2008 comScore Media Metrix report. Unique visitors to AOL’s programming content sites grew 7% year-over-year to 54.3 million in October, and page views more than doubled, up 101% year-over-year to 4.2 billion. Engagement (total minutes) grew 51% year-over-year in October. Total minutes reached an all-time high on AOL.com growing 27% year-over-year. Additionally, AOL.com page views grew 27%, and unique visitors and total visitors were up 9%, year-over-year, as the site further opened up to third-party content, services and features. In addition, AOL Webmail reached an all-time high of 3.5 billion page views marking a 31% year-over-year growth.
“AOL has completely rebuilt each of our vertical websites as well as launched over 30 new sites over the past 24 months, and we’re seeing the results in the unprecedented growth of our audience and engagement,” said Bill Wilson, Executive Vice President, AOL Programming. “We’re making our sites more relevant to today’s online users and advertisers, both by opening them up to third-party applications content and by creating sites that target people’s passion points. As the first big portal to allow access to third-party social networks, e-mail, RSS feeds and more, we are leaning into the fragmentation of the Web and reaching and growing key audiences by creating original content and engaging online experiences.”
AOL showed growth in sites that reach men 18-34 such as Asylum Engadget, FanHouse and GameDaily as well as sites that target women 18-54 such as the AOL Living, sites which include Lemondrop StyleList ParentDish Home, and Food.
In October, AOL continued to open its sites to third-party content and services by allowing consumers to access multiple social networking services such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and AOL’s Bebo directly from AOL.com allowing them to customize the main navigation bar by adding their own Web links, receive continuously updated local news, access RSS feeds from across the Web directly from the main page of AOL.com and personalize their experience with new design themes. AOL Mail also unveiled new plug-ins and shortcuts to provide one-click access to relevant AOL and third-party content and services and extend e-mail aggregation to the AOL inbox where consumers can now track and use their Yahoo! Mail through AOL Mail.