At WPP Group's Global Video Summit yesterday afternoon, (hosted by Kantar Video, GroupM and WPP Digital), AOL CEO Tim Armstrong shared 5 lessons he's learned for online video success:
1. Dedicated teams for video are required; it's too important to share resources
2. Video assets must be organized and catalogued; most companies don't even know how much or what they own as he found when he arrived at AOL 2 years ago
3. A great video player is needed; it's at the center of the user experience
4. Video should be put everywhere; distribution is crucial
5. Collecting data on video performance is essential; data is particularly useful in determining the optimal ad formats and user experience
Armstrong described how AOL has spent $200 million acquiring video companies and investing in video in the past 2 years, and has focused significant energy on new partnerships and site redesign. All of this has helped AOL move from being unranked in video to now generating 460 million+ streams per month from 57 million unique visitors, which he said ranked AOL second by comScore in March. On the monetization side, Armstrong also touched on yesterday's announcement by Hearst Magazines Digital Media with AOL unit Pictela to deploy the new IAB "Portrait" ad unit. This morning AOL reported Q1' 11 results including an increase in global display ad revenue.
As a closing surprise, Armstrong brought Queen Latifah on stage to talk about her partnership with AOL announced in March. She extolled the virtues of working in the online video medium: the ability to be truly creative and not have any limits, to go direct to viewers, to be part of a new frontier, etc. She's clearly very jazzed about online video and joked about building her own version of "OWN" - the Oprah Winfrey Channel, but doing it online. Here's a picture I snapped of the two of them.
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