AOL Acquires Video Platform in $50M-Plus Deal

Portal buys 5min Media to bolster online video content

AOL announced on Tuesday that it has acquired 5min Media — a company that bills itself as “the Web's largest video syndication platform” with 800 partner sites attracting more than 200 million unique visitors.

AOL plans to use the purchase to expand its video content to include “contextually relevant, high-quality video across its sites” — and, of course, sell advertising against it. The company also hopes the platform will help increase distribution of its original video content “throughout the Web.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though a source with knowledge of the agreement said it was above $50 million. (Another report put the price closer to $65 million.) In January, AOL bought StudioNow, another online video platform, for $36.5 million.

“Our acquisition of 5min Media is the latest in a number of steps we have taken this year to better position AOL to capture the growing video opportunity on the Web,” AOL chief Tim Armstrong said in a statement announcing the deal. “AOL is building a video ecosystem for the next decade.

But this wasn’t the deal that has Silicon Valley-waggers buzzing.

Late Monday, a report surfaced on GigaOm that claims AOL is close to acquiring TechCrunch, the popular tech media blog and conference business founded by Michael Arrington.

This isn’t the first time AOL has been close to nabbing the site. According to Media Memo, one pre-Armstrong-era deal fell apart when the price tag got too high.

"When the talk got into the $30, $40 million range, AOL just kind of choked," a person "familiar with the discussion” told Peter Kafka.