You've Got Streams

AOL.com's new portal showcases video
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Later this month, AOL.com will officially launch a free portal, giving
visitors a place to check e-mail, find news, and even stream video clips,
including movie trailers and content from AOL's Time Warner sibling, CNN.
B&C's Ken Kerschbaumer quizzed Kevin
Conroy, executive VP and COO, AOL Media Networks, via e-mail about the
portal's launch and the role of video on the new site.


Video streaming still has a reputation
for often being sluggish. What are you doing to improve
performance?

We've made significant investments in streaming-network infrastructure
and technical development, as well as product optimization to make sure that we
provide a great streaming-media experience.


AOL's new video player is part of the
trend toward players that support multiple formats. Is it getting easier to
provide a personalized video-player experience?

Users want control. The upcoming launch of the AOL Video 3.0 player
gives viewers the ability to navigate AOL's full on-demand video archive in a
consistent experience contained in a single product.


Many Internet ads look like online
versions of TV commercials. How can video advertising on the Web take advantage
of the interactive nature of the medium?

The new AOL video player is an important step forward, thanks to
in-stream video advertising with synchronized ad curtains [incorporating video
and still images]. It delivers advertising inventory in a way that meets
[Interactive Advertising Bureau] recommendations and makes it easy for top
advertisers to do business with AOL.


One of the issues with video streaming
is search functionality. How will AOL.com improve video
searches?

Video searches query against often-imperfect metadata that must be
manually created by the content owner. This summer, we'll deliver what we
believe to be an industry-leading video-search experience, of which Singingfish
[an audio/video search engine owned by AOL] is an important part.

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