AOL kicked off some major new developments at Monday’s AOL Future Front event. Speakers included The Huffington Post’s Ariana Hufifngton, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, and Brian Angiolet, Verizon’s SVP of Consumer Products. Some celebs hopped onstage as well, including Olympic snowboarder Shaun White and rapper Snoop Dogg (or is it Snoop Lion now?). Both White and Snoop are creating content for Verizon’s Go90 streaming platform, for which AOL is handling all ad sales (more on that soon). The night ended with a highly emotive performance from the Alabama Shakes, followed by a DJ set from the Dogg (lion?) himself.
Brian Angiolet’s address was particularly notable. Verizon’s SVP of Consumer Products detailed some new features of the Go90 service, which has been living in a beta phase for most of September. Among the most intriguing: Go90 allows users to easily isolate specific moments from videos they’ve been watching, and then share them with friends. As a reminder, Verizon is currently partnered with the NFL for a streaming deal. And it’s easy to see football fans getting giddy over the prospect of sharing their favorite plays at will.
Some more news from AOL and Verizon: Verizon has partnered with multi-national advertising group Publicis for a yearlong deal. The deal, which places Publics as Go90’s exclusive advertiser for fully three months, is worth close to 50 million dollars. More than 10 Publicis clients will advertise on the service. As mentioned, AOL – owned by Verizon – will handle all advertising sales for the service.
So why was Snoop Dogg hanging out with a bunch of corporate executives? Well, as it turns out, he’s creating and starring in a reality sports series centered on the Snoop Youth Football League, his football league for underprivileged children. No specific release date has been set for the series.
And in yet more AOL news, the company has signed Toyota Motor as the official launch sponsor of AOL’s content partnership with NBCUniversal. First announced in April, that partnership will allow AOL to stream video content from NBCUniversal’s properties on AOL’s streaming platform On. Toyota will work with AOL on branding, sponsorship and the development of original content.