The void digital video can fill: Look back and ahead with AOL’s Nate Hayden

Amid old Hollywood's risk aversion,"content that TV won't touch" has found a home in digital video, says the VP of AOL On Originals.
January 5, 2015

StreamDaily is asking some of the top execs in online video about upcoming industry trends. Below is a recent interview with Nate Hayden, VP of AOL On Originals and branded entertainment.

What trend in 2014 do you think helped shape the online video industry?

In 2014, we saw online video blossom as the medium for bold stories and unique voices. As old Hollywood becomes even more risk averse, digital video has become the place for the content that TV won’t touch. Whether it’s an alternative scripted comedy like High Maintenance or series like Transparent and True Trans that shed light on issues like gender stereotypes, viewers are responding to real, authentic stories, and I hope we continue to see online video evolve to fill the void and fit the desires of the consumer.

I think that going into next year, creators on the web will continue to produce great content, but also really begin to flex their creative muscles and find even bigger and more creative ways to share their vision. Talent like iJustine, Jenna Marbles and Joey Graceffa have shown that it’s possible to create and share stories that resonate with millions, but I think we’ve just seen the beginning of what they can do.

What trends will you be watching to help grow your business in 2015?

On the business side, the year ahead will be an even bigger one for branded content. In 2014 we saw Marriott open its own creative content studio and although it’s yet to be deemed a success, I think we’ll see even more consolidation in this area. Brands will get closer to content and creators, and I think that will not only make for more effective native advertising, it will generate better video.

In case you missed it, catch up on previous chats in our Look back, look ahead series with StyleHaul’s Mia Goldwyn, Jukin Media’s Jonathan Skogmo and Barcroft Media’s Sam Barcroft.

About The Author
Melita Kuburas is the editor of StreamDaily. You can reach her directly at press[at] or on Twitter @melitakuburas

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