The Huffington Post will launch its own live online video network this summer with 12 hours of new programming every day, the company announced on Thursday.
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, HuffPost co-founder Arianna Huffington and network chief Roy Sekoff offered reporters a demo of the Huffington Post Streaming Network in New York, and promised a “game-changing” idea predicated on engagement.
"The network will be built around segments spotlighting the biggest, hottest, most engaging stories HuffPost is covering at any given moment and using them as the jumping-off points for conversations, commentary, and comedy," Huffington wrote in a blog post. "These segments will be as long — or as short — as they need to be. We won't be limited by the usual time constraints of TV."
Several outlets, including TheWrap, confirmed the company was planning the network in January, but the company tried to limit the spread of details until Thursday’s announcement.
More than 100 employees will work on the project, some based in New York and others in Los Angeles. By 2013, HuffPost expects to produce 16 hours of daily programming.
Users can stream the network across multiple platforms, including their laptops, tablets and phones. Soon HuffPost plans it to stream on TVs through devices like the Playstation and Roku.
Huffington is hoping that the network will stimulate engagement with the audience and an online conversation, as has become a staple of HuffPost with its tens of thosuands of reader comments a day.
"People aren't interested in being talked at anymore — they want to be part of the conversation," Huffington wrote. "And a big part of what HuffPost Streaming Network will do is help facilitate those conversations. That's why one of our mottos is Conversations Start Here."
Numerous news outlets are making new investments in video content, including the Wall Street Journal and Reuters.
HuffPost picked a good day to make the announcement as Huffington also posted the media network’s staggering audience figures. HuffPost now draws 36.2 million unique visitors a month and drew as many as 6 million comments in just one month.