AOL is a media technology company with a mission to simplify the internet for consumers and creators by unleashing the world's best builders of culture and code. As one of the largest online properties in the U.S., with approximately 200 million monthly consumers of its premium brands, AOL is at the center of disruption of how content is being produced, distributed, consumed and monetized by connecting publishers with advertisers on its global, programmatic content and advertising platforms. AOL's opportunity lies in shaping the future of the digitally connected world for decades to come.
In 2010 AOL celebrated its 25th anniversary as a leading global Web services company. When first started, the company was known as Quantum Computer Services offering an online service named Q-Link. Quantum launched its first instant messenger service in 1989 and welcomed users with that familiar saying 'You've got mail!'.
It wasn't until 1991 that Quantum was renamed America Online through an employee contest. The following year, America Online, commonly called AOL, went public on NASDAQ. Starting in 1993, our disk mailings connected thousands of households to the internet, and two years later we reached our one million member mark. In 1995, AOL extended its service internationally and launched AOL Germany.
As more and more users connected to the internet, AOL began expanding its products and services. In 1995, AOL debuted the AOL.com homepage. The next year AOL reached five million members and introduced a flat-rate pricing program. That same year, AOL launched the Buddy List for chatting and welcomed the Running Man as a new AOLer. Two years later, the Buddy List was inducted into the Smithsonian collection.
While our user base grew, so did our company. In 1998, AOL acquired CompuServe and ICQ. The following year, Moviefone and Netscape joined our suite of products. MapQuest became AOL's trusted mapping source in 2000. Then, in 2001, AOL merged with Time Warner to create AOL Time Warner. In 2004, AOL connected advertisers to users using the newly-acquired Advertising.com.
America Online made history in 2005 by becoming the first internet company to win an Emmy. The very next year, we officially changed our name to AOL and began offering our content and services free of charge. Over the next three years, AOL launched new content sites totaling more than 80 sites by 2009. In 2009, the Running Man was inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame and was also recognized in the Advertising Icon Museum. Later that year, AOL Inc. became an independent, publicly-traded company.
In 2010, AOL expanded its presence in Silicon Valley, attracting some of the best entrepreneurial talent on the internet, and doubling its efforts in the key areas of the digital landscape – video, local, branded content and brand advertising. In content, AOL relaunched significant brands, such as Moviefone and AOL.com, and acquired new brands like TechCrunch. In video, AOL elevated its pervasiveness across properties, resulting in an increase of AOL's video usage to approximately 50 million viewers. In advertising, AOL launched Project Devil, which is now on track to becoming an industry approved ad unit for brand advertisers and a product that has moved AOL into the center of advertising conversations on the internet. Recently, the AOL brand was named in AdAge's top 100 brands that consumers love.
On March 7th, 2011 the AOL Huffington Post Media Group was formed when The Huffington Post, a fast-growing news and opinion site, founded in 2005, was purchased by AOL. The AOL Huffington Post Media Group is a leading source of news, opinion, entertainment, community and digital information comprised of 56 destination websites, including The Huffington Post, Moviefone, Engadget, Stylelist, TechCrunch, MapQuest and Cambio. The diverse network of sites combines journalism, technology, engagement, and video, and reaches a global audience on every platform. The AOL Huffington Post Media Group has over 9,000 bloggers -- from politicians and celebrities to academics and policy experts -- who contribute in real-time on a wide-range of topics making news today. Among them are Nora Ephron, Joe Scarborough, Larry Page, Bill Maher, Robert Redford, Katie Couric, Neil Young, Diane Sawyer, Newt Gingrich, Madonna, Ryan Reynolds, Craig Newmark, Alec Baldwin, Chris Matthews, Aaron Sorkin, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Russell Simmons, Bill Gates, Charlie Rose, and George Clooney.