It wasn't "that long ago that AOL was America's preferred highway to all the glories of the primordial Internet. Even as the Web has evolved far beyond its dial-up roots, AOL has managed to still... exist. And now, just like every other company (ev-er-y othercompany), AOL has thrown its hat into the wild frontiers of video content creation.
Distribution has been democratized and any platform with brand-name recognition can become a mainstram "channel." As streaming and on-demand services find acceptance among the general public, there is no reason that high-quality, star-driven content shouldn't be produced by sources beyond the traditional cable and national networks.
So, why not AOL? That's a question AOL has asked to both the general public and traditional ad buyers. The company recently unveiled a bevy of new programming for its AOL ON Network including shows featuring some true A-list talent. Here are just a few productions that viewers will soon be able to watch on their computers and mobile devices or stream to their TVs.
A "behind-the-scenes docudrama" about the New York City Ballet executive produced by Sarah Jessica Parker.
A series based on the "clever twitter feed" of Nicole Richie.
An inspirational show from Gwyneth Paltrow and Tracy Anderson about "women who've overcome hardship, injury, and setbacks to triumph in the face of adversity."
Anthony Eats America
Actor and comedian Anthony Anderson (shown in the photo at the top of the story) visits award-winning chefs in their home kitchens.
A "high-end" documentary series following 17-year-old NASCAR star Dylan Kwasniewski.
A series featuring Hank Azaria that deals with the pitfalls of being a first-time father.
In addition to its heavy slate of new programming that will roll out over the next several months, the company promises even more content in 2014.
The home entertainment ecosystem is fragmenting at a breakneck speed. Soon the very idea of a "television channel" may be transformed into a quaint grandpa notion from way back when.