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AOL ad revenue up, but losses continue

Revenue for the onetime media powerhouse is down 8 percent in the second quarter, and the company turns in a net loss of $11.8 million.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
AOL properties in the Huffington Post Group.
AOL properties in the Huffington Post Group. Huffington Post

AOL once again posted a difficult quarter as the company's revenue couldn't keep pace with last year's figures.

The online media company said today that it took in $542.2 million during the second quarter, down 8 percent compared to the $592.2 million it posted during the same period last year. That revenue decline held AOL in the red, with an $11.8 million loss for the quarter.

AOL's revenue declines during the quarter stemmed mainly from subscriptions to its Internet service. The company generated $201.3 million in subscription revenues during the period, down 23 percent compared to the $260.2 million it posted last year.

The company's troubles followed a similarly tough first quarter. During that period, AOL saw revenue drop by 17 percent to $551.4 million. And although it posted a small profit of $4.7 million during the first quarter, that figure was down from the $34.7 million tallied in the first quarter of 2010.

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But there was a silver lining: AOL saw its advertising revenue grow for the first time since 2008.

"AOL's return to global advertising growth for the first time since 2008 reflects the hard work of our team and another meaningful step forward in the comeback of the AOL brand," Armstrong said in a statement.

Even with those advertising gains, AOL's traffic on the quarter was flat. AOL properties saw their unique-visitor tallies hit 113 million during the period, up just 1 percent compared to the same period last year. The Huffington Post Media Group was also up 1 percent to 102 million unique visitors. However, the company's advertising network saw unique visitors drop 1 percent from 184 million to 183 million.

AOL acquired Huffington Post earlier this year for $315 million.