AOL Renews 4 of Its Web Series

#Candidly Nicole, Hardwired, The Future Starts Here and City.Ballet will be streaming this fall

Great news for #Candidly Nicole, Hardwired, The Future Starts Here and City.Ballet fans: You’ll be able to see more of these shows online this fall. AOL announced the renewal of the four Web series this morning.

The shows collectively received 75 million views last season. They also did well on other platforms and on social media. #CandidlyNicole drew 1.5 million viewers on Twitter alone, the majority of which came from mobile devices.

“As long as the programing is quality, it’s entertaining, and—what we shoot for—that it has an authentic voice, and it really is a cool remarkable story … I don’t know if it matters to (the audience) anymore the platform it is on,”  svp of global video sales at AOL Charles Gabriel told Adweek.

Nicole Richie’s series about her day-to-day Twitter goings on, #CandidlyNicole, also had an original TV series development deal announced last week. VH1 will air the longer episodes, while AOL will create original material for the Web. 

Hardwired 2.0, the second season of the technology show, will move on from wearable tech to tracking down tech trends throughout the country. Verizon will remain a sponsor of the show. 

“I live and breathe technology, so being able to work on the second season of this incredibly fun show with an amazing group of people is a dream,” Justine Ezarik, host of Hardwired, said by email. “This is such an amazing time where the Internet is providing quality content to viewers and to be a part of that is something that I am proud of.”

The Future Starts Here, which is also sponsored by Verizon, will continue to discuss how people stay connected these days. Filmmaker Tiffany Shlain will return to host the series.

Executive producer Sarah Jessica Parker will delve into the lives of New York City Ballet members on City.Ballet. The show is still supported by Citi.

Gabriel added that with Web video getting almost as many views as some critically acclaimed TV shows, advertisers are paying more attention to the medium. In fact, Verizon and Citi committed to the renewal of three series before AOL could open them up for sale. 

Unlike the traditional model where people can fast-forward through the ads, online audiences have to sit through the highly targeted commercials to get to the rest of the content. Gabriel believes that in the near future, this will make digital ads premium buys—and broadcasters will have to adjust their prices accordingly.

“If you look at television rates and pricing, while you see maybe a healthy market in terms of spending, the cost per point goes up,” Gabriel explained. “It’s costing them more to reach the people. Having a viable alternative around digital content and digital video, it does mean at some point that those television advertisers can go back to broadcasters and ask for better rates."