Bloomberg News

AOL Inc.’s Huffington Post to Debut Live Programming This Year

February 03, 2012

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- AOL Inc.’s Huffington Post unit plans to create live online programming later this year on the Huffington Post and AOL websites and on televisions via Sony Inc.’s PlayStation and devices from Roku Inc. and Boxee Inc.

The Huffington Post Streaming Network will feature news and commentary based on content from its companion websites, President Arianna Huffington said at a presentation to reporters at the company’s New York headquarters today.

Led by Roy Sekoff, the founding editor of the Huffington Post, the service will stream video for 12 hours a day, five days a week, produced by a staff of 100 from its Los Angeles and New York studios.

“This is unlike anything that’s out there,” he said. “We hope to capture the beautiful chaos of everything on the web.”

AOL, which posted a 66 percent decline in net income in the fourth quarter, has been losing share in the U.S. display advertising market, according to research firm EMarketer Inc. AOL captured 4.2 percent of the $12.3 billion domestic display advertising industry last year, compared with Facebook Inc.’s 16.3 percent. Online video typically commands higher ad rates than display advertising, EMarketer said.

“Our goal is to simply make this better and better -- there’s no number we’re looking at to see how successful this becomes,” Arianna Huffington said in an interview after the presentation.

AOL has seen revenue declines for the past five quarters, driven largely by the downturn in its legacy-subscriber business. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong aims to increase quarterly revenue toward the end of this year, he said in a telephone interview yesterday.

AOL gained 2.7 percent to $18.24 at the close in New York. The shares have risen 21 percent this year.

--Editors: Niamh Ring, Jeffrey Tannenbaum

To contact the reporter on this story: Edmund Lee in New York at elee310@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net


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