Arrianna Huffington - You've GotSo the first thing you do when AOL buys your company for $315 million is make a guest appearance on that network’s most popular web series talking about how we all need to sleep more. In a surprise move, that broke late last night and most of the online publishing world is still digesting today, AOL snatched up Arianna Huffington’s six year-old media company and its flagship Huffington Post in an almost all cash deal.

Huffington will now oversee all of AOL’s content properties, including the likes of such sites as TechCrunch, Engadget, Moviefone and even MapQuest. In her appearance on AOL’s popular guest-spot series You’ve Got (below) she laments on the growing trend of American machoism in the workplace about how little sleep we all get. It’s become a “macho badge of honor” she says, with many busy bees boasting about how few hours they clocked on the pillow the night before.

“In the Cult of No Sleep, 7AM is the new 9AM,” chides Huffington. She’s probably right, and the research out there supports the (obvisous) hypothesis that more sleep quls higher brain function. But overseeing a speed-obsessed—and now global—content business, we’re not sure this will actually percolate down to the lower ranks. And on the video side we know more than a few YouTubers that are card carrying members of this no-sleep cult.

We asked AOL’s hard working Head of Video Amber J Lawson about her sleep habits. “Like anyone else I am a fan of sleep,” she told us. “As part of the deal Arianna has promised us nap rooms. I intent to take her up on this offer.”

On the business side of this deal, there’s plenty to chew on in terms of the numbers here. What stood out for us was the combined reach of AOL with the Huffington Post in the stable, a whopping 117 million “unduplicated domestic monthly” visitors in the US alone. And as for You’ve Got? It’s at 24.3 million streams so far since its launch in November, according to AOL.

Excerpt from AOL CEO Time Armstrong’s internal memo to the AOL staff:

  • Together, AOL and The Huffington Post will have 117MM unduplicated domestic monthly UVs, and ~270MM monthly UVs worldwide (according to comScore Dec 2010).
  • The Huffington Post is one of the fastest growing web properties on the Internet. It grew 22% last year–that’s faster than Twitter, which grew 18% – and 15x as quickly as the Internet grew last year (comScore Dec ’09-’10).
  • Both AOL and The Huffington Post count powerful, affluent users among their top loyal visitors, significantly over-indexing in $100K+ income users.
  • AOL passed Hulu in unique viewers on video in the fourth quarter of 2010; video views on AOL are up 400 percent year-over-year.
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