AOL will up its video game by creating content for every day of the year. The digital media giant has announced its Content 365 campaign, which will focus on developing and distributing year-round online video programming available across multiple platforms and screens.
Announced at its Digital Content Newfront presentation, AOL’s upcoming slate of video content ranges from shareable, short-form content to mid- and long-form programming. AOL’s video content will be distributed across owned media properties such as The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and AOL On. The media giant’s video selections will also available on all devices (like smartphones and tablets) capable of accessing AOL’s programming.
A key cog in the Content 365 strategy is AOL’s proliferation of daily web content across its properties. During its presentation, the online media company promote previously-announced programs like Rise and 2 Point Lead, which will appeal to busy consumers on mobile devices. Thanks to these daily programs, AOL will increase its video output from 80 episodes a year to 3600.
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At the same time, the celebrity-driven shows that fueled AOL’s previous Newfronts presentations are still a big part of its programming strategy. Familiar faces who will launch their own AOL series in the coming year include Jared Leto and Deion Sanders. Several more star-powered series will return as well. The second season of Park Bench with Steve Buscemi, which was announced late last week, will feature the titular actor in unscripted conversations with friends, celebrities, and random New York City residents. AOL will also bring back Making a Scene with James Franco, in which the actor will mash up and act out famous TV scenes.
The third format within AOL’s programming strategy includes programs intended for “big screen streaming.” At the Newfronts, AOL announced a deal that will bolster its library of long-form content: It will team up with NBCUniversal to distribute the media company’s TV shows online.
“We are embarking on a whole new era of digital content,” said Dermot McCormack, AOL’s President of Video and Studios. “With our 2015 NewFront line-up of original video content made to fit multiple screens and formats, we are reimagining the definition of original programming and setting the vision for the content industry’s future, which we believe to be the very best of what TV does combined with the mobility, interactivity, and openness of the Internet.”
Here are brief descriptions for all of the original programs AOL discussed at the Newfronts:
- Park Bench with Steve Buscemi Season 2 – Emmy-nominated series directed by and starring Steve Buscemi is back for a second season. “Park Bench” is a local’s take on the special people, places, and spirit of New York City. Through unscripted moments and conversations with both average New Yorkers, as well as Steve’s celeb friends, Buscemi takes viewers on a funny, first-hand journey/misadventure, told in his unique voice.
- Making A Scene with James Franco Season 2 – The original series born out of James Franco’s love for movies is back, but with a twist. Each episode of the new season will feature Franco and one or more fellow artists reimagining classic television shows for a digital audience. Throughout the 10-episode series his crew will reinvent old classics by swapping genres, characters and more.
- The HuffPost Show – The news site’s first-ever live, weekly, digital primetime program. A smart, irreverent look at the week’s top news stories, “The HuffPost Show” features a blend of provocative commentary, lively panel discussions, edgy digital videos, and celebrity interviews. Roy Sekoff, President and Chief Creative Officer of HuffPost Studios and founding editor of The Huffington Post, and Marc Lamont Hill, host of “HuffPost Live,” are co-hosts of “The HuffPost Show.” The program, which is shot in front of a studio audience, broadcasts live from Los Angeles Friday nights at 9p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The show live-streams on the homepage of The Huffington Post.
- 2 Point Lead – Hosted by comedian Yannis Pappas, goes beyond the news and offers a mobile-first, humorous take on the world of sports with social buzz in mind. Viewers can expect sports and satire combined like never before, featuring famous comedians and professional athletes in comedy sketches, interviews and man-on-the-street clips. Every day at 2 p.m. EST, “2 Point Lead” will spotlight the humor in sports culture and appeal to a younger generation of sports fans.
- The Crunch Report – TechCrunch, one of the foremost sites for news and analysis on startups, venture capital, and Silicon Valley as a whole, has launched its first daily news show. “The Crunch Report,” hosted by Sarah Lane, recaps the most important and interesting tech stories of the day — across all areas of coverage the site has long been known for — in five minutes or less. The series is hosted at the top of the TechCrunch.com homepage for one hour every day. It is also be available via AOL On and iTunes.
- AOL.RISE – AOL.RISE aims to be your first daily digital destination. Hit BREW on your coffee maker and by the time your cup is full we’ll have delivered to you an informative, engaging, and inspiring look at the day ahead of you. With a unique voice, pace, and visual style, AOL.RISE will be all you need to win at the water cooler. Get a heads-up on what people will be talking about – headlines, culture, and life tips distilled and packaged into a perfect bite-sized form. Just as every morning brings you a whole new set of possibilities, so does AOL.RISE. Each day feature a different mix of topics – from news and sports to music and finance to weather and lifestyle. Additionally, RISE will now include a new weekly segment featuring Kevin Jonas called, “This Week in Snapchat,” which will Jonas reviewing the hottest posts, trends, and collaborations on Snapchat – posted by the biggest users and brands today.
- Journey To The Draft (Announced April 23, 2015; launched April 28, 2015)
- Fortunes can be won or lost at the NFL draft. A top 10 pick may be set for life, but a slide down the draft boards could result in the loss of millions of dollars. After the college football season ends, players have 4 grueling months of workouts, media training, and interviews to prove they have what it takes to make it at the next level. We follow three soon-to-be pro players, all jockeying for the life-changing moment of getting drafted in the NFL.
- Rising Artists – Rising Artists showcases the best in up and coming music, bringing you the bands you’ll love before you know they exist. Each month, a different Rising Artist will be featured over several short form videos: from live performances and day in the life footage, to Vine and Instagram videos in recording studios and backstage on tour. The next #1 song … Your next favorite band … While they’re on the rise.
- What to Watch – Hosted by Ricky Camilleri, “What to Watch” is a daily, 2-5 minute tour across what’s on all the screens out there, from the iPhone to IMax. Seriously, with all the videos, TV shows, movies and apps out there, someone’s got to cut through the clutter and cat videos to get you to the good stuff. What to Watch will also give you a fresh angle on what you’re already binge-watching.
- Beyond the Horizon With Jared Leto – This is a series dedicated to learning about the future from some of the most fascinating and innovative minds in the present. The creativity of the human race is becoming increasingly more impressive and technology that was unimaginable yesterday is becoming tomorrow’s reality. In this in-depth documentary interview series, Academy Award-winning actor, musician, and tech investor/advisor Jared Leto will engage in conversations about the future with the world’s most interesting visionaries in the arenas of science, art, technology and politics.
- Act Like A Musician – Everyone wants to be a rock-star even famous actors. In this groundbreaking series, today’s hottest actors get to live the dream by uniting with the bands they’ve always loved. In each episode, one lucky member of Hollywood’s elite will head into the rehearsal studio with his or her new musical mentors to learn how to play one of the band’s biggest hits. It all culminates with a one-time-only performance that is the best of both worlds. This is where the A-list meets the set list.
- Citizen Mars – In a series that is both human and out of this world, we’ll go in depth with five of the finalists from the hotly contested Mars 100 competition: everyday people dead set on making Mars their final destination. Through interviews and extensive verite, we’ll uncover the obsession with the future, adventure, and space that’s propelling them to leave everything – and everyone – behind.
- #BUILTBYGIRLS: Girl U – Brought to you by Cambio’s hugely successful initiative #BUILTBYGIRLS (which saw our site recreated, designed and coded by girls), “#BUILTBYGIRLS: Girl U” follows a “class” of 4 bright and bold young women as they’re given a crash course in various disciplines by a different Influencer each episode. Lessons run the gamut from business and robotics to film and fashion, and conclude with a challenge that the girls must complete in just 24 hours. As an added twist, the girls will co-create the series with self-produced content in the form of confessionals and how-to companion videos.
- The Thursday Sports Show with Ben Lyons – As part of AOL’s previously-announced premium partnership with The Players’ Tribune, “The ThursdaySports Show with Ben Lyons” is a weekly destination where sports fans connect with today’s top professional athletes through candid player profiles, hilarious social media round ups, and irreverent field pieces. The show provides real fans with real access to the sports stars they love, each and everyThursday.
- How it Happened – As part of AOL’s previously announced premium partnership with The Players’ Tribune, “How it Happened” is a new storytelling vehicle for world-class athletes to spotlight the funnier side of the games we love. Our athlete narrators will guide viewers through their favorite behind-the-scenes story – from locker room pranks to epic off-field errors – while the narrative comes to life on screen via world-class animation. Whether it’s one athlete narrator or several contesting the details of the same story one thing is for sure…you’ll be surprised learning how it happened.
And here are brief descriptions for all of the original programs straight from The Huffington post that AOL plans to launch in the near future:
- Now What with Ryan Duffy – Former VICE correspondent Ryan Duffy has been shot in Colombia, jailed in Cairo while covering the Arab Spring, and sojourned in North Korea. Now, instead of going around the world putting his life at risk, showing how utterly messed up the world can be, he’s taken on a new mission to put a spotlight on what’s working around the world and telling the stories of people working toward solutions to our many crises. In his new docu-series “Now What?” Ryan brings the same adventurous spirit to stories that give us a full and accurate picture of what’s happening in the world – not just the violence, tragedy, dysfunction and corruption, but the innovation, creativity, ingenuity and compassion too often overlooked by the media.
- The HuffPost 10 – 10 short films from 10 creative and diverse storytellers about 10 people, things or causes that together are making the world a better place. To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of The Huffington Post, we are embarking on a project that truly embodies the spirit and vision behind the brand that has engaged and inspired hundreds of millions of people globally. This collection of stories is a celebration of what’s working globally and in our own lives from the perspective of the world’s greatest filmmakers and storytellers.
- Culture Shock – Groundbreaking ways the workplace is changing for the better as demonstrated by the world’s most progressive companies.
- What’s Working – A daily international look at the people, places and things that are making positive changes around the world. A counterbalance to the exploitative and negative stories most news focuses on.
- Fabulous Stay-at-Home Dads – An intimate look at the powerful men running the households behind the world’s most successful women.
- Talk Nerdy To Me – Nerd culture made sexy. Hardcore Nerdcore.
- Thrive Science – A scientific look at the emotional and physical benefits around sleep, meditation, mindfulness and general wellness.
- 16 and President – A day-in-the-life of a presidential candidate. Grueling, unglamorous, intimate and revealing.
- You’re Doing it Wrong – A cooking demo video series showing basic kitchen hacks that undo conventional wisdom around kitchen classics.
- Talk To Me – Kids interviewing their parents. A revealing, intimate and probing Q&A session and look into the relationship between notable parents and their children.=
- Global Street Art Now – Profiling the best and least known street artists making moves in the global art world.