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AOL's 5min Media Launches Celeb News Channel

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There are more entertainment sites and blogs out there than the world will ever need. But not nearly enough decent video featuring Hollywood celebrities and news, says 5min Media which is looking to change that dynamic.

The company, which AOL snatched up a few months ago for an estimated $65 million, has recently rolled out the 5min Media Celebrity News Channel.

The channel is essentially a video package featuring premium content from producers such as Meredith TV, Sugar, TalkHollywood and others, which 5min then syndicates across a network of 800-plus entertainment sites.

Sites within the new network include hundreds of small to midsize properties, as well as more established venues like SheKnows.com, Hearst’s UGO sites and Betty Confidential.

According to CEO Ran Harnevo, “There is a high need across the Web for these types of videos. There are plenty of mid-tail entertainment publishers that don’t have the rights to any video. They can embed YouTube clips, but then there is no way for them to monetize that content.”

While 5min Media's Celebrity News Channel can be tailored to fit individual sites, for the most part, it will consist of the latest big entertainment news, with updates every 20 to 30 minutes. 5min handles delivery, editing and ad sales, with the firm and its partners sharing the associated ad revenue.

Ad sales are also a key driver behind 5min Media Celebrity News Channel -- since many of the content producers involved in the venture (which also includes Splash News and Hollyscoop) are experiencing heavy demand for video ads from brands -- a demand they can’t always meet.

Outside of several big sites, “content producers have real problems delivering scale,” said Harnevo. “These parties are very limited on their owned and operated sites. This creates an opportunity for them to deliver more inventory.”

Entertainment is just the first such syndication network in the works for 5min. According to Harnevo, the company is exploring similar channels for verticals such as finance.