Silicon Valley Insider points out that AOL News and its news brands, such as Politics Daily and DailyFinance, are reliant on people entering through AOL.com, meaning AOL users must sign on to the Internet.
From its About Sphere page:
Welcome to this preview of Sphere, the next phase in the evolution of AOL News. Here you will find original reporting, analysis and commentary from our ever-growing cast of top-notch journalists.
In the past few months, we’ve brought on writers and editors from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, The Atlantic and other great news organizations. And our network of contributors around the world is expanding each week.
We had planned to wait until early next year to unveil Sphere, but the enthusiasm behind the project pushed us to reveal what we have so far. It’s very much a work in progress. A more robust site is a few months away.