AOL Launches Video Unit; 5min’s Harnevo to Helm

AOL is reorganizing its growing roster of video assets into one group, AOL Video, which will be headed by Ran Harnevo, co-founder of 5min Media.

Under the new structure, Harnevo becomes svp of AOL Video. The entrepreneur has ascended to a key role at AOL quickly; the company acquired 5min, which syndicates video to properties large and small across the Web, in September.

Until 2009, AOL maintained a different division called AOL Video, which was focused on aggregation and search.

But going forward, AOL clearly sees video production and syndication playing a major role at the company. Besides 5min, the company acquired the video technology platform StudioNow earlier this year. Also, AOL has dialed up its original content production in a big way of late, inking deals with both Electus and Vuguru to launch original series on the portal.

Per comScore, AOL’s video streams balloooned 157 percent from July 2010 to October 2010, reaching 493 million streams (buoyed heavily by 5min’s 149 million video streams that month). Additionally, the new series You’ve Got… generated 4 million views in its first two weeks, according to AOL officials.