10:17 am Jul. 10, 2012
The Huffington Post's online streaming video network now has a firm launch date.
Originally slated for an early July launch, the offering, called HuffPost Live (as Capital previously reported) will debut on Aug. 13. The news was first reported this morning by The Wall Street Journal.
Today, The Huffington Post debuted a new section called "HuffPost Live 3,2,1..." to "introduce" users to the product, which is being overseen by Huffington Post founding editor Roy Sekoff and will be produced out of studios in New York and Los Angeles.
“’HuffPost Live’ is all about engagement and making the HuffPost community an integral part of the dynamic, ongoing conversation that will be the heart and soul of the network,” said Arianna Huffington in a statement.
“And we wanted to have a launch as innovative as the project itself, as opposed to a traditional top-down approach. ‘HuffPost Live 3,2,1…’ allows us to reach out to our community members and begin a dialogue with them about what kind of network they want to be part of, as well as what kind of stories they want to talk about.”
HuffPost Live arrives as a growing number of media outlets are shoring up their online video offerings. But it appears to be one of the most ambitious such projects thus far, with plans for 12 hours of live streaming video five days a week produced by 100 staffers devoted to it full-time.
The on-air talent so far includes former Al Jazeera English co-host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin; Alicia Menendez, the daughter of New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, who is a SiriusXM host and a contributor to NBCLatino.com; and Marc Lamont Hill, a Columbia University professor and former Fox News analyst. Veterans of ABC and CNN have also been hired, according to The Journal.
Cadillac and "a major wireless provider," meanwhile, have signed on as the launch sponsors.
HuffPost Live also dovetails with other aggressive content expansions at Huffington's seven-year-old online news juggernaut, which was acquired by AOL last year and now pulls in almost 40 million unique U.S. visitors a month, according to comScore. The site recently launched an iPad magazine and continues to roll out international additions.
For more details on HuffPost Live, read the press release below:
Today, the Huffington Post Media Group announces “HuffPost Live 3,2,1...” a section that introduces Huffington Post users to “HuffPost Live,” the site’s new live streaming network, which uses the HuffPost universe -- the stories, editors, reporters, bloggers, and community -- as its real-time script. The section includes a clock counting down to the August 13th launch of “HuffPost Live.” Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, and Roy Sekoff, President of “HuffPost Live,” made the announcement.
“’HuffPost Live’ is all about engagement and making the HuffPost community an integral part of the dynamic, ongoing conversation that will be the heart and soul of the network,” said Arianna Huffington. “And we wanted to have a launch as innovative as the project itself, as opposed to a traditional top-down approach. ‘HuffPost Live 3,2,1…’ allows us to reach out to our community members and begin a dialogue with them about what kind of network they want to be part of, as well as what kind of stories they want to talk about.”
“One of our main goals with ‘HuffPost Live’ is to make it the most social video experience possible -- capitalizing on the ongoing shift from presentation to participation,” said Sekoff. “People don’t want to be talked at any more; they want to be talked with. ‘HuffPost Live 3, 2, 1…’ will allow us to deeply connect with our users and have them be real partners in what we are building. This way, when we launch ‘HuffPost Live’ in August, our community members will be as prepared as our hosts and producers.”
“HuffPost Live 3, 2, 1…” is the central part of a broad outreach to Huffington Post community members, inviting them to sign up to be on-air contributors. As part of the process, they are being asked to record a video sounding off on what they are passionate about, what ticks them off, or what they’d like to see the network cover. The most engaging submissions will be posted on the “3, 2, 1…” section – and those who left them will be invited to become regular guests on “HuffPost Live.”
“HuffPost Live 3, 2, 1…” will also feature lively conversations led by the new hosts of “HuffPost Live,” and behind-the-scenes footage of the production team, including a 24-hour live feed of the newsroom being built in New York.
"HuffPost Live" is a cross-platform video experience, distributed online, mobile, and over-the-top (OTT) that allows users to both watch and engage with the stories they are viewing – either live or on-demand. Programming will spotlight the hottest stories on The Huffington Post across a full range of topics and use them as jumping off points for conversations and commentary.
“HuffPost Live” will live-stream 12 hours of original programming, five days a week, with highlights shown overnight and on the weekends. It will be produced out of state-of-the-art studios in New York and Los Angeles, with a satellite studio in Washington, DC.
Cadillac and a major wireless provider have signed on to be sponsors of this highly innovative media experience and conversations are still underway with other potential brands in non-competitive categories.
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