AOL Video has started moving forward with its new initiative of expanding its original content as well as giving its viewers consistent content on a daily basis. To that end they have enlisted three big names in Hollywood: Kevin Pollack, Kevin Smith and Adam Corolla. While the three aren't creating original content for AOL, they are now being affiliated with the company and pieces of their respective shows are being made available via AOL Video.
AOL started with their "You've got..." series that, according to their internal numbers, grabbed over 8 million views in the first month. That could explain their strong showing in the comScore Video Metrix for December 2010 where they were positioned 4th overall.
"You've Got..." is a video series that debuted with the new AOL.com launch in November and featured a diverse guest list including Kelly Ripa, Barack Obama, Matt Damon, and the Marines in Afghanistan.
The new block of programming, titled AOL Late Night, will include: weekly highlights from ACE Broadcasting's "The Adam Carolla Show," clips from "Kevin Pollak's Chat Show," a weekly, live streaming video talk show and segments from Kevin Smith's podcasts, including a #1 iTunes podcast SModcast featuring Smith and Scott Mosier and two iTunes Best of 2010 podcasts, "Jay and Silent Bob Get Old" featuring Smith and Jason Mewes and "Babble On" with Smith and Ralph Garmin. In addition, weekly best-ofs from "Carcast with Adam Carolla," "This Week With Larry Miller," "Spider and the Henchman" with NBA champion John Salley and writer Kevin Hench, "Daves of Thunder" with Dave Dameshek and Dave Feeney," "The Parent Experiment" and "The Film Vault" may be added to the block.
So now AOL is both a content creator and a rebroadcaster of other's content. The two clips that are currently on the AOL Late Night page are under 5 minutes.The "You've Got..." series are all under two minutes with the exclusion of the Will Ferrell episode which would have been 2 minutes except that it also included the first five minutes of the film Megamind.
Still it seems the majority of their content is pulled in from other sources and just replayed on their site. In an effort to check out an episode of Bleach (a Japanese anime) I found that it was being supplied by Hulu and so, not available to me based on my location.
Now AOL has been touting this 'strategic umbrella' called AOL Video since back in October or November, yet it seems that they're mostly capitalizing on the work of others instead of actually generating a lot of video content like it sounded they would do in the original announcements about the service. Granted, it is only two months since this initiative launched, but since they made dozens of deals with content creators and studios it seems to me like they could have had something done and ready aside from 2-minute interview clips for their "You've got..." series.
It makes me think that all AOL've Got... is lackluster replay rights. Of course, they probably don't care as they're running ads against all of the content and making money either way.
Here'a quote from their original announcement:
As part of its strategy to offer the most engaging, customized video experiences for its millions of users, AOL also has state-of-the-art HD studios in Los Angeles and New York to produce premium original content for AOL's owned and operated sites.
So where is all this premium original content that they're talking about? Two months out (again, I know it's not all that long), all they've managed really is some 150 minutes of interview clips. It doesn't seem to me like they are clear on their plan for original content just yet and I have to believe that those 48.5M unique viewers who are watching on average 31 minutes each, are mostly watching non-AOL video, on AOL Video.