Richard Bacon and Tess Daly will be part of AOL’s UK line-up of original videos.
The media company unveiled its new plans for the UK market at the IAB’s Digital Upfronts initiative this week. David Shing of AOL said that they are investing in original online video because “audiences are now ready for it”.
While lots of original content for VOD companies is focused on TV series or films, though, AOL will be focusing on shorter content, more in line with the kind of thing you see on YouTube – which, let’s not forget, is the biggest video site on the web.
“It’s quite easy to create views, but in order to drive scale, the audience needs to share,” said Noel Penzer, Managing Director of AOL Europe. “And we find that short-form video of three to five minutes is what people share.”
Central to the line-up will be Being Mum, hosted by TV’s Tess Daly and The Saturdays Rochelle Humes, and 30 Something, with Richard Bacon. The broadcasting veteran said his show would be about an important decade in many people’s lives: “As long as we get the right guests, I think it should fly. Short form content is really effective…it can change the game.”
As well as the focus on shareable content, though, AOL are taking more unusual steps to secure success: they have teamed up with analytics company Realeyes, which uses webcams to measure how people feel as they watch content. CEO Mihkel Jäätma described the partnership as “a global industry first”.
“We can measure the emotional impact of your video live, and it’s built into AOL,” he said.
Graham Moysey, Head of AOL International, also revealed a commercial partnership with Chris Locke’s VivaKi, which will sponsor four AOL Originals: the Emmy-nominated The Future Starts Here, Sarah Jessica Parker’s City Ballet, Win/Win and Inspired.