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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.

Jan 15th 2014

AOL On Launches New Series with Hank Azaria, "Fatherhood"

Last year saw the debut of 12 new AOL On original series -- attracting more than 140 million views to date. As we kick-off 2014, we're thrilled to announce another AOL Original: "Fatherhood."

This documentary series with actor-director-comedian Hank Azaria explores his touching, humorous and enlightening journey: from a man who isn't sure he wants to have kids, to expectant father, to father of a premature boy struggling for his life, and finally to a regular dad facing the normal joys, trials and tribulations of being a father. Coinciding with today's premier, Azaria was featured on NBC's Today Show this morning to discuss the series and the lessons he learned along the way:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Be sure to catch the first two 'Fatherhood' episodes today with Azaria quizzing friends Bryan Cranston, Kevin Bacon and others about how to be a good dad. New episodes will launch every Wednesday through March.

Jan 13th 2014

Tal Simantov Takes On Expanded Role to Drive International Growth For the AOL On Network

As you know, being No. 1 in video globally is one of AOL's strategic focus areas for 2014. As part of that effort, the AOL On Network has many ambitious goals this year, many of which we covered in the end of year meetings - and international expansion is at the top of the list. We have done a lot of hard work as a team to build our publisher network with unprecedented business deals, to create premium, original content that brands and advertisers want to associate with, to continue to develop state-of-the-art technology platforms and new products for delivering our premium content to consumers, and to further enhance our full video stack with the game-changing acquisition of Adap.tv. Now we're ready to take this strategy to new markets.

Having proven success in the US and Canada (with more than 300% growth this past year!), and with new markets waiting and ready for a premium video experience, I am very pleased that Tal Simantov will be leading our international efforts to take the AOL On brand global as VP, Global Video Strategy. Tal is working closely with Graham Moysey, Head of International, and will unveil our first international launch for 2014 in Q1.

As many of you know, Tal was a co-founder of 5min along with me and Hanan Laschover and led the post-acquisition rebranding of our platform to AOL On. There is no one that knows and understands the DNA of our brand better than Tal, who has served as the AOL On CMO for the past three years; and I know there is no one better to take our brand global. Tal will continue to lead all video marketing while taking on this expanded role. If you are lucky enough to see him during his upcoming international travel, please feel free to congratulate him in person on his new role!

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