Going Goes to AOL
AOL, the New York-based Internet portal company soon to be spun off by Time Warner, said today that it has acquired Going, a Boston startup that publishes an online guide to nightlife, music, and cultural events in Boston and 29 other U.S. cities.
The purchase is part of a strategy at AOL to invest in more sources of local news and information. In the same announcement, AOL said it has acquired Patch Media Corporation, a network of news sites covering six towns in northern New Jersey.
“Going forward, local will be a core area of focus and investment for AOL,” chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong said in a statement. “The acquisitions of Patch and Going will help us build out our local network further with excellent local services that enable people to stay better informed about what’s going on in their neighborhood.”
AOL claims to be the “largest online local network.” But in the comScore Media Metrix reports on which this claim is based, the “local network” category was custom-designed by AOL itself.
Three-year-old Going is aimed mainly at barhopping and concert-going 20-somethings. It’s advertising-supported; Bacardi is a major sponsor. In addition to event listings, the site supplies local venues and event organizers with a self-service, Web-based ticket sales and RSVP system.
“Going allows young people in leading cities to discover upcoming events, parties and new hot spots—and most importantly connect with others who share a similar lifestyle,” Going CEO Evan Schumacher said in AOL’s release. “By joining with AOL, we have the opportunity to greatly expand the reach of our platform to more cities both in the U.S. and around the world.”
In addition to its Boston site, Going has major sites covering Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., and less complete information for about 20 other cities.
Going isn’t the first New England company to be scooped up by AOL—the former juggernaut of Internet access acquired Boston-based mobile advertising company Third Screen Media in 2007.