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Apr 15th 2014

AOL.com Launches Premium Video Experience

Today, millions of users discovered a new premium video experience on AOL.com. By bringing video to the forefront, the site better serves its loyal audience's demand for premium video content.

For the first time, users can enjoy video on AOL.com at any time, across all devices. This feature is a game changer for AOL.com, where users are already consuming video content at a staggering pace - viewing more than 115 million videos in February 2014 alone.*

This new viewing experience combines the power of scaled online video with a time-centric programming strategy. It is programmed dynamically - a human-curated slate of daily content with a 24x7, hourly consumer-focused programming schedule tied directly to consumers' top content interests throughout the day.



Expanding on the success of the AOL On Network, a leader in video content streams, the new experience leverages the power of its scaled premium content library. Best-in-class partners collaborated with AOL.com to provide exclusive and in many cases original video, and a range of experts provide exclusive insights and insider knowledge.

With this debut, AOL strengthens its position as a leader in video while stretching beyond its borders to reach a broader audience on AOL.com.

Partners:
* Conde Nast Entertainment
* ESPN
* E!
* Glamour
* HSN
* Self
* Simon & Schuster
* Vanity Fair
* Vogue
* Wall Street Journal
* WWE

Experts:
* Tracy Anderson (Fitness)
* Tony Dovolani (Dance)
* Kennon Earl (Real Estate)
* Stacy Kaiser (Psychology)
* Zach Keene (Vine Viral Star)
* Dr. Karen Latimer (Health & Parenting)
* Harley Pasternak (Fitness)
* Rachel Roy (Fashion)
* Molly Sims (Lifestyle)
* Sabrina Soto (Lifestyle)
* Sam Talbot (Food)
* Essie Weingarten (Beauty)
* Farnoosh Tourabi (Personal Finance)
* Alexa Von Tobel (Personal Finance)

* Adobe [Omniture Discover] 2014

Apr 7th 2014

AOL Announces Renewal Of Four Original Web Series For 2014

Today, AOL On announced the renewal of four shows from last year's slate of original video programming for a second season. This is an exciting announcement that underlines the success of our content creation strategy under the AOL Originals brand, bringing the POV of "Authentic Voices, Remarkable Stories" to each show we create.

Of the four shows returning for second seasons, three shows bring back first season advertisers. "City.ballet." featuring Sarah Jessica Parker as executive producer returns with sponsor Citi, while "The Future Starts Here" starring Tiffany Shlain, and "Hardwired" with digital influencer iJustine both return with Verizon as the sponsor. Popular show "#CandidlyNicole" starring Nicole Richie will also return for a second season with AOL. We saw an incredible response to these shows from consumers, with each show consistently drawing an impressive number of unique viewers but also seeing success in organic audience growth. These shows provide a great environment for brands and prove that we're on par with top-tier cable programs in reaching sizable audiences who are highly engaged.

The announcement of these second seasons comes in line with the start of our pre-NewFront meetings, with the first of over 20 meetings starting today, to preview the content in this year's slate. With just over three weeks to go before the AOL NewFront, we are looking to impress upon top agency executives the premium environment our content offers and the buying opportunity for their brands, and the announcement of four shows going to season two is coming at the right time to drive those messages. More detail on each of the shows is listed below:
"CITY.BALLET."– Return to the intimate and exciting world of the New York City Ballet, where executive producer Sarah Jessica Parker takes a closer look at the compelling lives of the company members; their hopes, their dreams, their passion and their hardships, both on stage and off. Produced by Pretty Matches Productions and Zero Point Zero Production, the series is sponsored by Citi.
"HARDWIRED 2.0" – Digital influencer Justine Ezarik (iJustine) is back. After covering the world of wearable tech last season, iJustine is expanding her coverage this year by profiling the hottest tech trends across the country. The show's second season topics will range from gaming to beauty tech and will showcase iJustine's trademark fun personality while featuring the latest trending topics. The series is sponsored by Verizon.
"THE FUTURE STARTS HERE" – Webby Awards founder and celebrated filmmaker Tiffany Shlain takes us on a series of wildly entertaining, daring, and inspiring rides that explore what it means to be human in an increasingly connected world. The series is sponsored by Verizon.
"#CANDIDLYNICOLE" – Fashion icon, creative director of House of Harlow 1960 and Winter Kate, and mom Nicole Richie brings her unfiltered sense of humor and unique perspective on life in a series based on her clever Twitter feed. "#CANDIDLYNICOLE" follows the outspoken host's daily insights as she shares her uncensored perspective on style, parenting, relationships and her journey through life. The series is produced by Telepictures and World of Wonder, with executive producers Nicole Richie and Michael Baum. Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato & Tom Campbell serve as executive producers for World of Wonder.

Mar 24th 2014

AOL UK Launches Premium Video Platform

Today is a big day for our UK team as we launch our premium video platform AOL On in the market. There is growing demand for video from advertisers and consumers globally and having launched AOL On in the US and Canadian markets, we see a significant opportunity for the business in the UK. This year alone video spending in the UK will increase by a third to £795 million and by 2017 will be worth £2 billion according to Emarketer.

The launch of our premium video syndication platform, which includes both curated and original content, builds on our existing video presence in Europe with branded content syndication business Be On and Adap.tv, AOL's programmatic video trading platform.

The AOL On Network is comprised of over 750,000 pieces of premium video covering a wide range of topics including news, entertainment, style and tech, which is distributed through a network of publishers including Trinity Mirror, Telegraph Media Group and TalkTalk in the UK. AOL's owned and operated destinations The Huffington Post UK, AOL, Parentdish, MyDaily and TechCrunch also form part of the publishing network.

AOL On (on.aol.co.uk) will serve as the video hub for AOL's video experiences. UK content providers at launch include Endemol beyond, Channel 4 News, ITN, Scripps Networks International, MyMovies, Zoom.In, Parentchannel.tv and Little Dot Studios, who will be providing clips from some of the UK's biggest shows including Supernanny and Embarrassing Bodies.

AOL has seen great success with its video proposition in North America, achieving the number one spot in comScore's video category with four billion ad streams, and as the top premium digital video provider with one billion content streams. Part of this success is attributed to AOL's venture into original content creation through the AOL Originals, a slate of high quality original programming with talent such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Richie.

Check out AOL On UK here.

Mar 11th 2014

Mandatory.com Launches Site Redesign

AOL's "man-brand," Mandatory, celebrates its second birthday today – and what better way to mark occasion than a brand-new, redesigned, mobile-optimized site? With at least 50% of traffic derived from mobile, the new experience will have a great impact on driving even further views.

When Mandatory launched, the primary focus was building an organic audience. Using sharable content, search and building partnerships, the site now has about 5 million unique visits a month – and consistently leads the Men's Lifestyle category*.

What else can we expect from Mandatory 2.0?

  • A fully responsive mobile site... and increased mobile traffic = optimized mobile ad experiences, so everybody wins
  • A more dynamic homepage
  • More sharable, fun content


For highlights on Mandatory's journey, new features and a surprise*, check out the video with Luke Wolter, Mandatory General Manager, and Cory Jones, Lead Editor for Mandatory below:

*(source: Comscore MediaMetrix, Feb. '14)

*Cat video

Feb 18th 2014

Charles Gabriel Takes on Expanded Role

Charles Gabriel

Scaling the AOL On Network to global audiences continues to be a leading focus for my team in 2014. With global growth already under way at the AOL On Network and with guidance from global leaders already in place in Bob Lord, Jim Norton, Graham Moysey and Tal Simantov, I'm pleased to announce Charles Gabriel will broaden the scope of his role to focus on global video sales.

Over the past three years, Charles has evolved to be a big voice in our industry and regularly leads conferences, publishes articles (TechCrunch, Adweek and others), has a wealth of relationships and is viewed as an industry expert. Charles has been a key player for several years now, playing a critical role in growing revenue before 5min was acquired in 2010 through our best year to date in 2013. Charles has been instrumental to the evolution and success of the AOL On Network, and our success largely stems from his ability to scale video sales and expand our reach and sales offering to both digital and traditional media buyers.

In this new role, Charles will be responsible for growing AOL Video's revenue in addition to integrating Adap.TV's media offering into his existing org. He'll work with Graham and Tal to anchor AOL's video presence in key global marketplaces, and we expect exciting announcements in the upcoming months.

I'm continuously impressed by Charles's ability to tell our video story. He has mentored our sellers to become the strongest video talent in the industry and he continues to invest in the team and their development. I'm confident that Charles will lead AOL Video sales into the next phase of growth in 2014.

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