Aol’s Hyperlocal Site Patch Spent $1.39 For Each Unique View in 2010

At the MIT Enterprise Forum held last week at the New York Times Center, Michael Shapiro of lashed out at Aol’s hyperlocal effort, Patch, claiming the company lavishes money on new user acquisition to little effect.

During his presentation Shapiro aimed to put AOL’s on the defensive, saying that the company recently announced that it had spent $50 million during 2010 and had only obtained 3 million unique views per month, raising questions about’s revenue model and its viability.  Shapiro noted that despite spending $50 million, AOL’s had approximately the same readership per town as, though at 4.5 times the cost.  “AOL’s spent $1.39 per unique view in 2010.  We spent about a quarter,” Shapiro noted, adding that “ is the David to AOL’s Goliath and we’re the only profitable hyperlocal here tonight.  Our business model works.”

While Patch may be filling the void left as local papers close across the U.S., if true, their business model is charity for underemployed journalists, but far from sustainable.

h/t: Mark Briggs


  1. idlewyld reblogged this from futurejournalismproject and added:
    I was at this event. Shapiro was a bit off in his numbers and Warren Webster, president of Patch, defended his company....
  2. futurejournalismproject posted this