NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- AOL (AOL) is producing an assortment of short- and medium-length video programming in a stepped-up effort to attract eyeballs and advertising dollars and, if all goes well, to reverse a slumping stock price.
It's a bet that compelling video that works well on mobile devices can grow the company's advertising revenue, and also convince marketers as well as other Web publishers to use AOL's automated ad platform, known as One by AOL, for all of their digital needs.
CEO Tim Armstrong emphasized a merging of the two parts of his $2.5 billion company on Tuesday evening as AOL
touted its latest video offerings as part of the Interactive Advertising Bureau's NewFronts. (TheStreet.com is also participating in the NewFronts.) The actor James Franco was present to increase interest in his acting show Making a Scene, as was Steve Busemi for his Emmy award-nominated shorts program Park Bench.
The comedian Yanni Pappas appeared on stage with New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski to publicize a humorous sports-themed show called 2 Point Lead while the filmmaker Ricky Camilleri sought to create buzz for What to Watch, a daily digest on everything video that's popular on the Web.
The new lineup, some of which has begun screening on its Web sites, will run at the company's AOL.com as well as the company's The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, Cambio and Makers sites. Shares of AOL recently rose 1.3% to $40.50, trimming its 2015 decline to 12%.
AOL is playing both sides of the two-week NewFronts event that includes 33 Internet-focused companies such as Yahoo! (YHOO), BuzzFeed, Vice and Time (TIME). But unlike its many rivals, AOL is selling ad space for his programming while simultaneously encouraging marketers to use its One platform to sell digital advertising on the full range of mobile devices.