AOL yesterday effectively relaunched its AOL On platform of video offerings and curated video hub. The move consolidates several of AOL's video hubs under one umbrella, and offers seven new web-only shows.
AOL On offers premium video across 14 content channels including food, business, entertainment, style, tech, travel, health and others, reaching an audience of 57 million US consumers (comScore data).
AOL made the announcement at AOL's 2012 Digital Content NewFront, where more than 450 brand advertisers, marketers, agencies and digital and TV media buyers came together to see AOL's new slate of video programming, meet original programming producers and casts, and experience the power and reach of the AOL brand.
A smart move for AOL. As Ad Age describes the strategy, the NewFront (and AOL On) are aimed at “luring TV buyers” with original TV-like content, like crime-scene investigations and fashion-oriented advice shows—online equivalents of “48 Hours Investigates” and “Say Yes to the Dress.”
"The AOL offering can be a complement or viable alternative to traditional TV-buying strategies,” said Ran Harnevo, Senior Vice President, Video, AOL On. “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."
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 gross rating points (GRPs), based on audience demographics, rather than clicks or impressions – are being used as the basis for advertiser guarantees on the Web.
The content is largely short form, in digestible chunks of seven minutes with 30-second preroll ad opportunities. (Geico bought its way into a collection of “Mad Men” recaps, BASF on a collection of “Devastating [Celebrity] Losses”).
The AOL On Network “brings AOL's entire video offering under one umbrella to delivers premium content at significant scale and within desired audience segments,” says the company. Recognizing the increasing trend toward multi-screen consumption, all of the videos from AOL can be seen across four screens—desktop, tablet, mobile devices and connected TV devices.
At the center of the consumer experience is the AOL On video hub (on.aol.com), a destination for consumers to find curated news, lifestyle and entertainment. AOL On will surface the most relevant videos in real-time from a library of more than 320,000 short-form videos created by more than 1,000 premier publishers and AOL. 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.
The company claims that The AOL On Network is one of the top 10 video platforms on the Web, and number one in categories including Fashion, Tech, Auto, Travel, Food and Home. The Network attracts 861 million video streams per month, with users spending a total of 2.4 billion minutes consuming video (comScore data for March 2012, total U.S. video viewers).
Original programming series announced:
- “Digital Justice” on AOL On Techand HuffPost Crime, 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” debuts on May 7, and is centered around four soccer moms struggling to balance their busy schedules, family lives and sanity.
- “Next Door Hero” is a new, 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” is a fashion-centered advice show featuring the fashion director of Marie Claire magazine.
- “Tiger Beat Entertainment” aims to be 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” is a gaming platform that 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.