At its NewFront presentation to some 450 advertisers and agencies 4/24 in NYC, AOL announced plans to launch an online video network that lump its programming onto one platform. The video hub, “AOL On Network,” will feature 14 content channels distributed online, on mobile, via tablets and through TV-connected devices. It is estimated to reach an audience of 57 million US consumers. The network attracts 861 million video streams per month, with users spending a total of 2.4 billion minutes consuming video, per ComScore.
Content includes some 320,000 short-form videos—featuring food, business, entertainment, style, tech, travel, health and others–from AOL and its 1,000 publisher partners including Michael Eisner’s Vuguru.
The company announced seven new original series, including “Digital Justice,” a weekly reality show about Internet crimes and “Little Women Big Cars,” a scripted series from Vuguru about four soccer moms in LA. Debuting 5/7, it revolves around four devoted soccer moms who struggle to balance their schedules and family lives. Cast includes Amy Yasbeck (Wings), Julie Warner (Crash and Nip/Tuck), Kristy Swanson (Psych) and Romy Rosemont (Glee).
Another new Vuguru series premieres 6/18: “Fetching,” was created by Sex and the City producer Amy Harris and stars Collette Wolfe from ABC’s Cougar Town. The comedy features a lawyer who quits her job, breaks off her engagement and opens her doggie day-care business called “Fetching.”
The voice of AOL On will be expressed through highly curated shows, channels and video playlists integrating a range of programming, from AOL original products to partner content. High profile celebrities like Nina Garcia, Rachel Roy, Heidi Klum, Adrian Grenier, Erin Fetherston, Marc Forgione, Sam Talbot and Christine Vachon have already signed on to curate AOL On playlists and share their passions and unique perspectives with audiences.
“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, AOL CEO. “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…Consumer adoption of the Internet is going to continue to explode. Every single human being on the planet is going to be walking around with a screen on them and we believe that content is the most important thing that’s going to touch those screens.”
Added Ran Harnevo, SVP/Video, AOL On: “The AOL offering can be a complement or viable alternative to traditional TV-buying strategies, and we are well-positioned not only from a scale perspective, but from a programming perspective to capture TV dollars. It is undeniable that online video has strategic advantages relative to TV, and we have the programming, audience and measurement tools to not only target audiences but find them where they are on the web.”
Full details on original programming series:
Digital Justice– Live today on AOL On Techand 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 that 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.
ur + 1– Similar to popular sports-related fantasy games, the ur + 1 gaming platform will allow users to pick teams of celebrities to compete for points based on their coverage on AOL properties. Celebrity-related content across HuffPost Celebrity, HuffPost Entertainment, Moviefone, AOL Musicand HuffPost TVwill be a part of the gaming experience, encouraging users to read, comment and share the content.
Earlier this month AOL announced a partnership with Nielsen to offer marketers guaranteed audience delivery for online video advertising campaigns bought across its properties. This is the first time that online GRPs – based on audience demographics, rather than clicks or impressions – are being used as the basis for advertiser guarantees on the Web. To do this, AOL will use Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings reach, frequency and GRP measurement to determine how well it delivered ads to the desired target audience.
RBR-TVBR observation: AOL is the first major publisher to use a TV-based guarantee model for its online video inventory. This makes buying as easy as television, but still, if a major campaign needs to be placed for a client, no media buyer is going to risk too many spots and dots on something that still hasn’t proven major audience delivery. But this definitely moves the needle in the right direction for AOL.