Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

AOL Boasts About Its Supersized Video Offering, and Puts Ran Harnevo in Charge

A couple of months ago AOL laid out $65 million for video distributor 5Min Media. What did it get for its money?

A lot of video! AOL says that 5Min’s library and distribution deals, along with its existing video offering, gave it a total of 493 million video streams in October. Which is a pretty big number–and bigger than any other U.S. Web property except for Google’s YouTube.

Comparing AOL’s homegrown video with the stuff that 5Min offers–content other publishers (including CBS, Hearst and Scripps Networks) make that it syndicates out–isn’t apples and apples: Different video has different costs, and the amount AOL will be able to get for the stuff will vary widely depending on the property it runs on, and the real estate it gets there.

But making all of that work will now be Ran Harnevo’s responsibility. Harnevo ran 5Min up until the sale, and he has now been named senior vice president of AOL Video, a unit that didn’t exist prior to the deal. Harnevo will report to AOL content boss David Eun; he says that all 45 of his former 5Min employees are staying on at AOL, too.

Near term: Expect to hear more from the company about other partnerships designed to get high-quality video on the site, along the lines of deals it has already announced with Next New Networks, Vuguru and Electus.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work