Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX ) AOL is calling on TheStreet.com's (Nasdaq: TSCM ) Jim Cramer to inject some excitement into its BloggingStocks asset. His blog, which used to be behind a registration wall, is now a part of AOL's financial lineup, and as one can imagine, it will probably quickly become one of the more popular ones.
That's because people love to read and listen to the comments of the Mad Money guru, whether they take his investing advice or not. He has a big presence on General Electric's (NYSE: GE ) CNBC, and he's built up a pretty impressive media empire over the years. In a sense, he's like the Martha Stewart of investing -- he has a cult following that feels he's a completely relatable, Joe-Average investor.
Well, Cramer is anything but Joe Average when it comes to investing. He ran a hedge fund for many years, and he's been through market crashes and Internet bubbles. He's worth multiple millions of dollars, and he'll definitely be called upon to help CNBC to fend off the competitive threat of News Corp.'s (NYSE: NWS ) new cable business channel.
Nevertheless, he does have populist appeal, and that's what AOL is looking for. TheStreet.com, for its part, is looking to expand the reach of its brand to as wide an audience as possible. BloggingStocks will help out in this regard; many readers who enjoy Cramer's writings will undoubtedly want to head on over to TheStreet.com and further check out its content. According to paidContent.org, this deal doesn't involve any money; TheStreet.com is mainly interested in boosting its page views.
Cramer has become, as Rick Munarriz observed, a bona fide stock-picking rock star. Even though his record (which the Motley Fool tracks in CAPS) isn't the most exemplary at times, he brings a palpable excitement to the proceedings when he's dishing stocks on Mad Money. Sure, his character might not exactly bleed through in a blog, but viewers will still soak up his opinions on AOL. I'd also be willing to bet that his blog entries will generate a ton of feedback from surfers in the form of instant comments; many users who've previously never thought to leave a comment on a blog entry before will take the time to do so, thus potentially increasing the stickiness of the site.
As Rich Smith noted in a recent earnings take on TheStreet.com, revenues derived from premium content have slowed considerably while advertising sales have experienced significant growth. Advertising depends on Web traffic, so the partnership with BloggingStocks is a smart one. And the fact that the TheStreet.com is allowing its big gun to step out from behind the comforts of a subscription fee shows that it's indeed pretty serious about chasing ad dollars.
Bottom line: AOL gets what it wants -- a rock-star blogger -- and TheStreet.com receives increased exposure on the Internet. It looks like a win-win for both. Can I get a booyah from the citizens of Cramerica?
Past Foolishness with TheStreet.com: