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Jul 11th 2014

Ran Harnevo Featured in eMarketer Digital Video Streaming Report

Digital video is more exciting now than ever before. In the last few years, streaming has come into its own, bringing a unique ecosystem with it. Between an evolving content landscape, the challenge of curating and maintaining audiences, and a deluge in new devices on which to stream content, there are significant opportunities available for content creators, distributors, and consumers alike.

With the increased influence of mobile devices and connected TVs in today's market, the industry has been forced to expand in order to accommodate the growing demand for ubiquitous entertainment across all digital platforms.

"We're getting to a point where being screen-agnostic is the only way to approach consumers because they watch more videos on every platform," Ran Harnevo told eMarketer in an interview for their Digital Video Streaming Report. "At the same time, when it comes to creating video, length and format are highly influenced by the distribution method at hand."

"There's an appetite for all lengths of content. Usually, time spent is dictated by screen size," continued Harnevo. "The smaller the screen, the smaller the attention span. If you go with connected TVs, play with longer forms. With mobile, be short."

Visit eMarketer to sign up and access the report.

Jun 24th 2014

AOL On Content Now Available on Apple TV

Today we are excited to announce that our complete library of over 900,000 premium videos is now available on Apple TV. From news and entertainment to food and sports, viewers now have access to all of their favorite AOL content right through a customized user experience. After successfully programming experiences on iOS for mobile and tablet, we're excited to extend our consumer offering to Apple TV.

"At AOL On, we've spent the past two years focused on programming all available OTT devices and this announcement represents our 15th integration over that timeframe," said Ran Harnevo, President of AOL Video. "We are now able to provide Apple TV users with access to AOL's premium video programming through an easy-to-use interface featuring best-in-class design."

Not only will Apple TV users be able to access content from our owned and operated partner sites like HuffPost Live, TechCrunch, and Makers, but also our full slate of original series that was announced just a few months ago at the AOL NewFront event.

It has been our mission to bring our premium video content to every viewer on every screen across every device. With this latest integration, AOL On is now available on Apple TV in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. With our content now on 15 OTT devices including Samsung, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV, amongst others, we will continue to develop innovative experiences programming our content for consumers across all devices.

Jun 11th 2014

MLB.com and MapQuest Team Up for Original Content Series

MLB.com and MapQuest just launched an original video series, "Key to the City," hosted by Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre comedian, Matt Fisher, to accompany MapQuest's completely customized content featuring Stadium Guides for all 30 MLB teams. Additionally, MapQuest's editorial team enlisted area travel experts to draft Game-day Guides that provide guidance for travelers and locals to enhance experiences before and after the first pitch.

MLB "Key to the City" Video Series
The original video series, "Key to the City," features new, original custom content for MapQuest's community of travelers and baseball lovers. Upright Citizens Brigade comedian and MLB super fan, Matt Fisher, hosts the new "Key to the City" video series with a unique, 5-minute episode on what to do on game days in big baseball towns. From iconic tourism attractions to local hangouts to hidden gems, the "Key to the City" series highlights the heart of each city with an itinerary best experienced with the industry-first, seamless MapQuest integration.

Feature cities include:
  • Denver: Today, June 10, home to the Colorado Rockies
  • New York City: New York Yankees on Monday, June 16, 2014
  • Los Angeles: Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, June 24, 2014
  • Chicago: Chicago Cubs on Monday, June 30, 2014
  • Washington, DC: Washington Nationals, Summer 2014
  • Boston: Boston Red Sox, Summer 2014

MLB Stadium Guides
The new "Key to the City" video series complement MapQuest's original baseball stadium Gameday guides, expert editorial created by seasoned journalists who know MLB stadiums and cities inside-and-out. Each of the 30 team-specific Stadium Guides features six chapters:
  • Welcome to the Stadium: History and key information
  • Before the Game: Get to know the best offerings near the stadiums
  • Inside the Stadium: From gluten-free fare to exclusive micro-brews
  • Game on a Budget: When to buy, where to sit and the deals inside
  • Best Bets for Families: Make a child's first-visit memorable or get tips on the best experiences for families
  • After the Game: From celebrating to drowning game-day sorrows, these places are worth the stop

The new content comes on the heels of the MLB.com and MapQuest partnership to deliver MapQuest-powered mapping and directions through an exclusive app-to-app experience within the "MLB.com At the Ballpark" smartphone app, as well as integrated into MLB.com and all 30 MLB team websites. As part of the official partnership, MapQuest created custom-branded MLB team experiences, available within its iOS and Android apps, and developed original MLB content to enhance local experiences.

May 1st 2014

AOL Hosts NewFront Event in Brooklyn, Announces 2014 Slate of Original Shows

On the evening of April 29, AOL held its 2014 Digital Content NewFront event at the Duggal Greenhouse in Brooklyn, New York. More than 3,000 people were in attendance; a captivated audience of agencies, advertisers, publishers, content creators, and creative partners who journeyed across the river to experience the AOL Originals showcase.

The theme for the 2014 NewFront was "Connected," a continuation of our strategy from 2013 (and 2012). AOL wants to connect content, publishers, and advertisers by utilizing both technology and human touch. In the near future, it means we want to connect Digital and TV. Contrary to some digital companies, we believe that both TV and Digital will evolve into something new, exhibiting the best attributes of both mediums. This is the "convergence" media has been fixated on for years but has only started to become a reality because of advances in technology and consumer adoption.

This manifests itself across five pillars every future media company will need to master in order to survive: Creation, Curation, Distribution, Programming, and Monetization. We want to create premium video content that attracts and delights audiences, to curate the best video content from partners, to distribute all of this content to as many screens as possible, to use actual humans to program this content so we don't fall prey to bad algorithmic experiences, and we want to monetize these experiences while maintaining the user experience.

Tim Armstrong kicked off the evening with stories about the historical significance of the Brooklyn bridge in connecting two disparate places, tying that metaphor to our mission in video to connect TV and digital. Ran Harnevo added context to our theme of "Connected" by outlining where the industry is, where we believe it's going, and how exactly AOL is planning to connect it all. What followed was rapid-fire presentations of our series by the celebrities who star in and produce them, including Steve Buscemi, Sarah Jessica Parker, Zoe Saldana, Kevin Nealon, Portia de Rossi, Mike Epps, and more. Laura Jane Grace gave a powerful live performance, and Nicole Richie and AOL Platforms CEO Bob Lord shared the stage to bring some humor to programmatic buying and the significance of the Adap.tv platform.
All told, AOL Originals announced 16 new series in 2014. Our tagline – "Authentic Voices, Remarkable Stories" – continues from 2013 and informs all of our new shows including our first foray into long-form series. A description for each of the 2014 Original Slate new shows can be found on the AOL NewFront site.

In addition to our slate, we announced an innovative approach to measurement between AOL and Nielsen. A leader in bridging the measurement gap with TV, we have once again been first-to-market partners with Nielsen in an announcement that AOL On will receive show-level TV ratings across all of our content, including the 2014 slate. We will soon be able to compare the ratings of an original series on AOL with the ratings of a television show. For traditional ad buyers, this will be a huge step forward in convincing brands to start shifting more of their spend to premium digital content.

To view our AOL Originals, as well as our full catalogue of premium content, go to on.aol.com, and stay tuned for new show launches throughout 2014 and 2015.

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.

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