AOL debuts its new video platform AOL On Network

Eyeing the online video ad spend expected to hit $7B, AOL builds a site to house all its originals

Technology trends and news by Krystal Peak
April 25, 2012
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Internet consumers are becoming more reliant on the concept that they can watch anything they want, on any screen they want, at any time they want. With only limited services providing such a viewing experience, AOL wants in on the game.

Late Tuesday, AOL announced that its video aspirations are now a reality as it launched a new video site called AOL On Network. This service will bring all of AOL's original content (from Huffington Post and to Engadget and Tech Crunch) to one platform.

Back in February, AOL announced that it was starting a live streaming video channel for the HuffingtonPost, now it appear that was just the start of things.

AOL On Network is already set-up with 14 content channels, including food, business, entertainment, travel, style, tech, and health. 

AOL is using tech that it acquired from its $65 million purchase of video syndication startup 5min to run the new site. Viewer will now be able to find relevant videos in real time from a library of over 320,000 videos already in stock and the company has announced six original programs produced by some notable names in the entertainment world, including content curated by Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia and Adrian Grenier.

AOL is looking to be more of a news and information-heavy Hulu than a self-uploaded YouTube and wants to get its hans on the online video ad money its been missing out on. With online video ad spending expected to reach $7 billion by 2015, according to an eMarketer, there are a lot of companies that want in on the game.

"AOL is a brand company. We offer innovative platforms like the AOL On Network, along with vibrant and engaging video content that we know people are flocking to the Web to consume at an unprecedented velocity," said Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO, AOL, said in a statement. "With the launch of AOL On we are bringing people closer to the things that matter, while helping them discover and share the stories and information that color their lives."

Original programs will include:

Digital Justice– Live today on AOL On Tech and HuffPost Crime, Digital Justice is a weekly reality show that follows digital forensic investigators as they solve cyber crimes. The series deep dives into fascinating crime prevention units that are using the latest digital technology.

Fetching–Written by Sex and the City’s Amy Harris, Fetching is set against the backdrop of New York City and stars Liza – a young woman who quit her job as a lawyer and ended her engagement in the same week-in hopes of pursuing her dreams of opening her own business, a doggy daycare store called “Fetching.”

Little Women Big Cars– Debuting on May 7, the web series is centered around four soccer moms struggling to balance their busy schedules, family lives and sanity.

Next Door Hero– Anew, unscripted series that features everyday Americans with extraordinary stories. This new series will put an action-filled spotlight on America’s bravest everyday heroes.

Nina Garcia– Whether you’re embarking on a new relationship, just starting a new career or have a new baby, two things just happened: you found a new life and you lost your groove. The swag, thrill and the mojo of your look is totally gone and there’s only one woman who can help you get it back: Nina Garcia.

Tiger Beat Entertainment–A deeper, more thoughtful lifestyle and entertainment show for and by teens and young adults covering a wide variety of pop culture and lifestyle categories with a genuine point of view.

Everyone is jumping into the orignial content video machine since there is such a drive for online advertisments contected to streaming content. 

Back in January, Yahoo announced that it would be airing an orignial Web series called 'Electric City'

The Web series was comprised of short three to four minutes episodes and will feature a message about energy conservation and included A-list actor Tom Hanks participation.  

Many Internet companies outside the the view of the Hollywood sign have been getting into the sitcom and video content creation industry including YouTube and Netflix. With strong Internet money and a captive audience that is more easily reached and tracked, Internet companies could become the new production houses influencing Hollywood.

This is Yahoo first dip into creating original scripted content. 

Google-owned YouTube, recently put $100 million toward providing quality, original content for the social platform and in the coming months will be rolling out 100 channels created by the likes of, WWE Fan Nation, The Wall Street Journal, Bleacher Report and American Hipster.

The channels were created to ultimately generate at least 24 hours of original programing each day -- much like an alternative cable channel.

YouTube's creation of new and original content that users can subscribe to will presumably result in an increase in the number of minutes that each user will be on the site. Especially considering that the average YouTube video is only 4 minutes and the average user is on the site five hours a month.

Celebrities that will be featured on different YouTube channels include Shaquille O'Neal, Madonna and Ashton Kutcher.

This year, Netflix also started rolling out orignal series' including the lackluster program 'Lilyhammer.'

In March, the video-streaming company announced that it had outbid HBO and AMC for the rights to 'House Of Cards,' an adaptation of the successful 1990 British miniseries. The show will star Kevin Spacey, and is being produced David Fincher -- the producer behind Fight Club and The Social Network. That series isn't expected until the end of 2012 and has already received great buzz.

Another expected win in the Netflix column includes the revitalization of the cult hit 'Arrested Development'. The sitcom with stars such as Portia De Rossi, Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Michael Cera ran on basic cable from 2003-2006 and is coming back in 2013 exclusively on Netflix.



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