AOL has shifted to what the company calls a “Content 365” strategy by expanding its partnerships with celebrities like James Franco and Jared Leto as well as forming a new partnership with NBC Universal.
The brand’s expanded video offerings will mark its shift to year-round video content, encouraging more viewers to think of AOL as a place to watch popular shows. After 2014’s 16 video series generated 200 million views, AOL’s president of video and studios, Dermot McCormack, believes the additional original content, coupled with NBC’s television programming, will make the platform competitive not just with Hulu and Netflix but with television as well.
“We are embarking on a whole new era of digital content,” McCormack said. “With our 2015 NewFront lineup 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. Content is still king but it’s the kingdom that is changing.”
AOL is also angling for more strategic advertising partnerships by launching its new video offerings on the heels of One by AOL, a unified cross-screen programmatic platform that uses data to help brands see exactly how consumers are responding to ads.
According to AOL chief marketing officer (CMO) Allie Kline, AOL’s new catalogue of video and One by AOL aim to bring the best of television into the always-on, hyper-connected digital landscape.
“Some people say that automation is killing creativity in advertising, but ONE by AOL is specifically designed to do the opposite,” Kline says. “It fuses data with storytelling to unlock a connection for advertisers with people across whatever devices they consume on. AOL has always been a multi-platform company, but we put it front and center for our NewFront this year. We want to unleash the very best of what TV can do from a storytelling perspective, but also do what it can’t do, like create highly curated mobile and socially native experiences.”
Programmatic is taking over the digital advertising world, and at an even faster rate than expected, according to eMarketer, which raised its forecast for programmatic ad spending in the U.S. on the back of growth in mobile and video programmatic buys.
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