AOL Sells Off Research Unit DMS Insights

Market research firm uSamp on Thursday announced it has agreed to buy an AOL research unit by the name of DMS Insights. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the announcement comes on the heels of uSamp raising $10 million in funding.

"This is a merging of two companies with similar visions for serving market research," said Matt Dusig, co-founder and CEO of uSamp.

Also known as Digital Marketing Services, DMS Insights is recognized for its "river sampling" methodology, which resulted in the development of Opinion Place -- a portal for random, real-time recruitment of survey respondents online.

USamp expects DMS to bolster its research offering with patented screening and routing technology, in addition to online tracking studies, which provide sample sourcing, data delivery and standard project execution. Their combined global panel will reach 2.7 million consumers, according to the companies.

The sale is in line with AOL's efforts to streamline its business operations and product offerings under the reign of CEO Tim Armstrong. Most notably, AOL just sold its social network Bebo to a private equity firm Criterion Capital Partners for an estimated $10 million. (AOL has yet to reveal the final sale price.) The self-described content king is also presently trying to unload instant messaging service ICQ to Russian holding firm DST.

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AOL is expected to remain a strategic partner of DMS Insights, continuing to support both traffic and AOL credit incentives for Opinion Place. AOL will also remain a sampling and research client of DMS.

The current DMS leadership and production team will remain unchanged, according to company President Chuck Miller. "This merging of complementary products and services will enhance the quality of service," said Miller.

Meanwhile, the companies are promising that the integration process will result in complete continuity of service to all clients. Going forward, DMS and uSamp are identifying areas where combined capabilities will provide better services for clients.

The DMS Insights company name is not expected to change. Its brands and properties will likewise remain active for the foreseeable future, including Opinion Place, which has operated since late 1996.

USamp's Series C round of financing was led by OpenView Venture Partners of Boston.

1 comment about "AOL Sells Off Research Unit DMS Insights".
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  1. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc., June 25, 2010 at 12:24 p.m.

    In a related announcement, AOL has established their own section on Craigslist called "AOL Stuff We Paid Big Money For But Need To Dump". Also, a keyword search on eBay revealed that the self-described "content king" was taking bids on office furniture, 15 inch monitors, several Amiga 2000 computers and 45 billion 3.5 floppies with 200 hours of free usage time using AOL 3.0.

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