Company buys StudioNow as it looks to redefine itself

AOL will soon look more like YouTube as it struggles to redefine itself and regain its financial footing.

The company has acquired StudioNow, an online platform for video creation and distribution for $36.5 million in cash and stock.

Like YouTube, AOL is eyeing online videos, especially original programming, as a way to boost its bottom line, especially from advertising.

Ads attached to online videos are expected to generate $5.2 billion in 2014, up from $734 million in 2008, according to eMarketer. AOL cited the stats when announcing the StudioNow purchase.

AOL could use the influx of new coin. It’s looking to cut operating costs by $300 million and recently said it would lay off 1,200 staffers as part of the effort.

StudioNow will be integrated into Seed.com, an online entertainment manager and distributor for AOL’s more than 80 branded and niche websites.

“Premium original video creation is a fundamental part of AOL’s strategy to offer consumers world-class, stimulating content at scale,” said AOL chief exec Tim Armstrong.

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