AOL Inc.: Can We Fully Monetize Each Unique Monthly Visitor?

AOL (NYSE:AOL) CEO Tim Armstrong likes to remind people that AOL sites are the fifth most trafficked in the United States. Only Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook (NYSE:GS), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) sites beat AOL’s 118 million unique visitors in March. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), in first, had 176 million.

Armstrong also likes to point out how AOL, with a $2 billion market cap, is entirely dwarfed by the other four companies in that group. Yahoo is worth $25 billion, Facebook, $60 billion, and Google $176 billion.

Armstrong says this demonstrates AOL’s huge opportunity. Maybe. Or maybe it demonstrates a hugely blown opportunity. Or both.

But one thing is clear: With the traffic AOL has, if Armstrong can get the monetization engine running, there’s enormous upside.

We left Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) off the chart below, because it’s not an online-only business.

chart of the day, aol, google, facebook, yahoo, market cap per unique visitor, my

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