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AOL's Greatest Hits

In spite of its litany of failed innovations and squandered opportunities, AOL still delivers some of the Internet's best entertainment and services. Its instant messenger and finance site both lead their categories. Here are four more winners.


This video search engine looks beyond video-embedded data to the surrounding content, resulting in greater accuracy. Its searchable videos index grew 20-fold to more than 100 million in 2007 and is projected to hit a billion by 2009.


The celebrity gossip king broke Mel Gibson's DUI and Michael Richards's meltdown stories and attracts more than 10 million visitors a month. Two years after launching in 2005, the Web site expanded into a TV show.

AOL Music

After selling its subscription download service, Music Now, to Napster, AOL has focused on its free-music portal, which serves up news, videos, and tour info, and is the second most visited music site in the United States, after Yahoo's.


A partnership with ABC makes this the only site to host shows from all four major networks. Trouble is, "Consumer awareness is low," says Forrester analyst Sally Cohen. The site attracts just 11 million monthly visitors.

A version of this article appeared in the April 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.