Townsquare Media buys up three music sites from AOL

Steven Loeb · June 3, 2013 · Short URL:

Radio station owner Townsquare also picks up ComicsAlliance

(Updated to reflect comment from AOL)

Twitter and Google have both recently dipped their toes into the music space, with Twitter debuting its #Music app, and Google launching a new streaming service. But one large Internet property seems to be looking for a way out of the same space.

AOL, which recently began to shut down it AOL Music site, while also cutting jobs at a slew of its other music properties, has now been able to unloaded three of them.

Townsquare Media has purchased country site The Boot,  hip-hop site The Boombox and metal site Noisecreep from AOL, it was reported by AllThingsD Sunday. Townsquare also bought comicbook website ComicsAlliance.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Townsquare has already reportedly hired some former staffmembers from AOL Music and ComicsAlliance. Other forner employees will apparently be hired back in the coming future as well.

These hires are a bit of homecoming, as Bill Wilson, Townsquare’s executive vice president, created these sites when he was the president of AOL Media during the time the sites launched back in 2008 and 2009.

Other music-oriented websites owned by AOL, including AOL Music, Winamp and, were not purchased by Townsquare, and it is unknown what will happen to them.

Getting rid of its music site is another step for AOL to get rid of, what it consider to be, extranious content. This has included selling social networking site  Bebo to Criterion Capital Partners in 2010. It also sold more than 800 patents to Microsoft for $1.056 billion in cash in April 2012. 

AOL has been trying to focus over the years, and sell non-essential assets so it can invest in those that are humming and building new products. It sold Bebo to Criterion Capital Partners in 2010, which AOL CEO Tim Armstrong had called “a major distraction”. In a much bigger financial deal, AOL sold 800 patents to Microsoft last year for $1.1 billion.

Founded in 2010, Greenwich, Connecticut-based Townsquare Media owns a collection of small US radio stations and music web sites.

The company calls itself  "the largest music focused advertising network online." It consists of over 1,500 music sites and which reaches over 60 million people each month. The company has  offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco and works with brand marketers to develop custom sponsorship opportunities across its network of music sites.

This is not Townsquare's first foray into the music space: last August it purchased half of digital music company Mog Music Network, which sold advertising for over 1,000 music sites, and offered a streaming service of millions of songs by monthly subscription.

A spokesperson from AOL declined to comment.

Townsquare Media was not available for comment on the report. We will update if we learn anything further.

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