Kara Swisher

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In Yet Another Content Hook-Up, AOL Strikes Deal With Endemol

AOL’s strategy to partner with third-party content creators for original programming–especially premium video content–keeps ticking, with another partnership, this time with Endemol USA.

The New York-based Internet company said it would “co-develop and co-produce new Web programming initially aimed at AOL’s growing women’s audience” with Endemol.

Endemol makes television shows, such as “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Big Brother,” “Wipeout” and “Jerseylicious,” as well as Web series “Married On My Space 1 & 2″ and “Coupon Mom.”

AOL is working on several other content partnerships, said sources, to add to its previous ones.

AOL said the first two “built-if-sold”–meaning some big advertiser has to pony up–will be:

“Re-Dressed by America”: An interactive Web series where online users make over subjects facing a life-changing event (high school reunions, first dates, etc.) by voting on their hairstyles, fashion, accessories and more. The series will be featured on Stylelist.com and MyDaily.com.

“Mamá’s Recipe”: U.S. families compete for the best family recipes and share their secrets with the AOL audience. The series will be featured on KitchenDaily and AOL Latino.

Not exactly “The Sopranos,” but there you have it.

Here’s the full press release from AOL:

AOL INC. AND ENDEMOL USA ANNOUNCE WEB PROGRAMMING PRODUCTION PARTNERSHIP

Agreement Further Expands AOL’s Original Video Offerings

New York, NY–January 12. 2011– AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) and Endemol USA today announced a production agreement to co-develop and co-produce new Web programming initially aimed at AOL’s growing women’s audience, as well as at the broader AOL audience. The partnership will focus on creating premium, unscripted digital video content that will enhance the user experience by taking advantage of the real time, interactive and community nature of the Web.

“Endemol is a premiere producer of unscripted programming and their expertise in creating unique, interactive, popular shows, combined with AOL’s growing video audience will take digital production to the next level,” said David Eun, President of AOL Media & Studios. “Endemol is the latest in a string of partnerships that serve both the AOL consumers and our advertising partners.”

“We are thrilled to partner with such a successful and global leading company like AOL,” said David Goldberg, Chairman of Endemol North America. “This deal continues our growth as a leader in interactive digital entertainment, and we look forward to creating many genre-defining series with AOL.”

The first two built-if-sold series to be produced under the new agreement are:

“Re-Dressed By America”: An interactive web series where online users make over subjects facing a life-changing event (high school reunions, first dates, etc.) by voting on their hairstyles, fashion, accessories and more. The series will be featured on Stylelist.com and MyDaily.com.

“Mamá’s Recipe”: US families compete for the best family recipes and share their secrets with the AOL audience. The series will be featured on KitchenDaily (http://www.kitchendaily.com) and AOL Latino (http://latino.aol.com/).

AOL will promote each Web series throughout the AOL Network focusing on the sites and destinations relevant for each series’ demographic. Every series produced through this partnership will feature enhanced online programming, such as user voting, supplemental video clips and supporting blog content to create deeper user experiences, and opportunities for sponsors to integrate their messaging in creative and highly-engaging ways.

Endemol USA, one of the world’s leading producers of entertainment programming, will leverage its experience producing hit shows such as Emmy-award winning “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Big Brother,” “Wipeout” and “Jerseylicious,” as well as the hit Web series “Married On My Space 1 & 2″ and “Coupon Mom” to create captivating Web series with AOL.

“You’ve Got…” the video series that debuted with the new AOL.com launch, generated nearly 8 million views in its first month, and featured a diverse guest list including Kelly Ripa, Barack Obama, Matt Damon and the Marines in Afghanistan. For comparison, that puts “You’ve Got…” on-pace with a top 10 Web series. Overall, video views on the new AOL.com rose more than 3X in its first month.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald