AOL and Ashton Kutcher's Katalyst Films are teaming to produce original programming exclusively for the on-line service.
Kutcher and Katalyst Films co-owner Jason Goldberg , creators of Punk’d and Beauty and the Geek, will develop, produce and deliver at least five programs, each with at least 20 mini-episodes, that will be available on AOL.com and throughout the AIM instant messaging service later this year.
"Our core audience is into the Web, so we felt it was natural for us to reach youth culture online," Kutcher says.
Adds Goldberg: "This partnership makes sense on so many levels for both companies. As content providers and strategic partners, it makes it very easy for us to do what we do best when our distributor has a firm grasp of what they are looking to program and the audience they are striving to connect with."
“Katalyst's understanding of young adult audiences makes them a perfect partner to help grow our original programming and community efforts," says Jim Bankoff, executive VP, programming and products for AOL. “(It is)...the embodiment of the demographic that is already using the AIM service and AOL Comedy.”
The AOL.com comedy portal already includes viral videos, on-demand stand-up performances, the Moviefone Short Film Festival, comedy radio programming from XM Radio and claims to have 43 million "active users."
The AIM service is available for use on computers, cell phones and other handheld devices, offering instant messaging, email, SMS mobile texting, and voice /video chat services.