What's Up With The Download Squad

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 29, 2008
Updated • May 9, 2012

The Download Squad is one of my favorite technology blogs along with Lifehacker, Cybernet News and a few others. Recently though activities came almost to a halt. Brad Linder (also Liliputting a mobile computing blog), one of the major writers for the Download Squad and the rest of the team seemed to have stopped writing for the Download Squad blog which only saw one new article yesterday and none the days before that.

While weekends were a bit slow they usually saw a few posts from the dedicated staff. I was a bit worried about the website and emailed Brad who said that the could not speak about it. I did some research on my own and it seems that AOL has told some bloggers, among them the bloggers of the Download Squad, to hold off for the month in what seems an effort to cut costs.

I'm not sure why AOL would make them hold off in first place because I know that the bloggers were paid on a per article base which should not be a problem for a multi-billion Dollar company like AOL.

Apparently though I'm wrong. AOL is cutting costs and trying to sell some properties like XDrive or Bluestring.

While all news articles speak of holding off until the end of the month none know for sure what is going to happen on August, 1st. Will they start blogging again or will this be the end of the Download Squad?

Meanwhile AOL is also telling some bloggers who contribute to its Weblogs group to cut back or to halt writing for the rest of the month. Contributors to the DownloadSquad have been told to hold off, while The Unofficial Apple Weblog will cut back to a couple per day. DIY Life will go on hiatus.

I would like to analyze the blog for a bit. I do not know the real traffic statistics for the download squad but they surely are above my own here at Ghacks. A few indicators are Alexa, Comcast and others and although they are not accurate they seem to suggest roughly twice the amount of traffic that my site gets.

That would be between 1.5 and 2 million unique visitors per month for the Download Squad. If proper advertisement would be added to that website they could probably rake in between $15K-20K per month from that website alone which would obviously be more than enough to pay Brad and his team. Those $15K-20K are based on free advertising opportunities and no special deals like high paying CPM campaigns that are running on the whole blog network. Could very well be much more if those were included.

Heck I would buy that website if I would have the money to do so if Brad and his team would continue writing for it..

Let's hope for the best and pray that the Download Squad will be back in full strength in August.


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  1. conedude13 said on August 1, 2008 at 5:43 am

    I spoke with someone from DLS (don’t know if i should use the name or not, didn’t get his permition) and he said that this story is making a mountain out of a mole hill and is being completely exaggerated and that everyone over there is just too busy and they were spending a lot of time doing some sort of research.

    But only time will tell, but looks like posts have picked up a bit more today.

  2. darkkosmos said on July 30, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    They started posting again but I agree with the comments here, Lifehacker is getting Mac’ed up even though most of it’s readers are on windows and downloadsquad is just boring..

  3. GRTerrero said on July 30, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    iampriteshdesai is correct. LH has become a marketing arm for Apple.

    Is someone getting paid over there?

  4. GRTerrero said on July 30, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I was scratching my head wondering the same thing this morning.

    I just thought to myself that these guys must be on summer hiatus.

  5. MK said on July 30, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    @iampriteshdesai idk, since i started reading blog on 2008 anyway. but yeah, LH is as dull Makeuseof, full of digg-baiting, 10-services-you-cant-live-without type of posts.

  6. iampriteshdesai said on July 30, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Of late Amit’s blog Digital inspiration has become quite boring to say the least. Uptil start of 2008 he used to post interesting things but now his quality has gone down.

  7. MK said on July 30, 2008 at 11:07 am

    well i’ll always have my daily Ghacks, Cybernet, AppScout, and Digital Inspiration. and ocassionally RWW

  8. Dotan Cohen said on July 30, 2008 at 8:10 am

    And that’s why I read Ghacks. You seem to write for us and for yourself, and the money comes after that. Sites like Download Squad write for money and it shows. Not only in the content, but also when the money dries up, the site dries up as well. No thanks, my time is limited and I’ll only read those who do it for the love of technology, not for the money.

  9. Avatar said on July 30, 2008 at 6:16 am

    A former AOL blogger (that got “cut off”) told me that they have fired everyone but Brad from Download Squad. i don`t know if this is true. but i also find it insane that a blog with 2 million uniques is not being monetized properly.

    It is also one of my favorite blogs. but i wonder how this will affect ghacks and digital inspiration. your numbers and amit numbers should be growing faster that usual right?.

  10. liz said on July 30, 2008 at 3:31 am

    Wait, let me get this straight. AOL is practically bribing bloggers with millions of visitors to stop posting — because it’ll save them some money? Are you kidding me?

  11. Ashish Mohta said on July 29, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    That’s Fishy. I had been wondering my my Feed readers was not showing anything from them until I checked the site. No updates.

    Money cant be a reason with the amount of traffic. Is it getting sold ? So new authors will be in or something ?

  12. paulo said on July 29, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    That is too bad. They are part of my daily must read dozen along with ghacks. If nothing else, this should serve a warning shot to bloggers that are tied to AOL.

  13. iampriteshdesai said on July 29, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Even I like Download Squad more than Lifehacker. Of late LH seems to be over obssed with iPhone and Macs. Also they post so many useless, timepass DIY hacks. LH is getting boring :-0

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