AOL has announced the launch of AOL Industry, a new trade media unit, which will see the growing media juggernaut tackling specific industry niches. This will begin with sites in the Energy, Government, and Defense sectors, but there's no telling how broadly the net will stretch before it's all said and done.
While the announcement doesn't make any mention of expansion beyond these three industries, it would only make sense. The company already has strong footholds in a variety of sectors with sites like The Huffington Post, Engadget, AOL Autos, etc.
It does say, "AOL Industry will offer subject-specific news, information, tools, video and analysis, and foster niche communities that enable professionals, experts and government employees to engage each other."
The new initiative makes interesting use of LinkedIn. Users can use the social network integration to see personal connections to people and companies that are making news in a particular industry.
"Launching AOL Industry allows us to bring to specific business sectors the same sense of community for which AOL Huffington Post Media Group consumer sites are well-known," said President of the recently formed AOL Huffington Post Media Group, Arianna Huffington. "We're applying a blend of news, opinion and engagement to industries that have their own unique audiences, and creating a forum for influencers to connect and communicate with one another. We're excited to launch AOL Energy today and see the site as an original offering for decision-makers and experts looking to keep up with a fascinating, fast-moving and complex field."
The AOL Industry unit is being led by VP and General Manager Jay Kirsch. He says, "We believe there's a great opportunity in creating targeted platforms by and for influencers in distinct industries and government. These sites will combine the best of news and information with the social, visual and personal aspects of today's web. In fast-moving, specialized industries, decision-makers need an easy to use, authoritative source to stay on top of the news and to connect with one another."
Naturally, the whole thing creates some new advertising opportunities for the company. "This is not only an incredible opportunity for industry experts and thought-leaders to take advantage of a unique platform, but it's also a new way for advertisers to connect directly with executives and influencers in these sectors," said AOL Advertising President Jeff Levick.
AOL Energy is up and running, while AOL Defense and AOL Government will be "launching soon". Peter Gardett, Colin Clark, and Wyatt Kash (respectively) have been appointed as editors.