The Huffington Post Media Group announced today the launch of HuffPost Live 3,2,1…, a new streaming video network that will “use the [Huffington Post] universe – the stories, editors, reporters, bloggers and community – as its real-time script.” And if you want to be part of it, then you’ll have your chance, because its creators aim to make it the “most social video experience possible,” including drawing on-screen talent from its audience. So, part-news, part-American Idol, then…?
According to Ariana Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of Huffington Post Media Group, “HuffPost Live is all about engagement and making the HuffPost community an integral part of the dynamic, ongoing conversation that will be the heart and soul of the network… We wanted to have a launch as innovative as the project itself, as opposed to a traditional top-down approach. ‘HuffPost Live 3,2,1…’ allows us to reach out to our community members and begin a dialogue with them about what kind of network they want to be part of, as well as what kind of stories they want to talk about.”
Amongst that outreach will be the chance for visitors to become contributors, a la the familiar HuffPo business model (Whether or not said video contributors will be paid remains to be seen; history would suggest that the answer is likely to be no, however). People who want to become on-air contributors to the network are currently being invited to submit videos of themselves “sounding off on what they are passionate about, what ticks them off, or what they’d like to see the network cover,” with the best – I’m sorry, “most engaging” – videos being posted on the 3,2,1… site (According to a report on Deadline, the “most engaging” videos will be selected in-house by editors for the site, meaning that we’re robbed of the chance to enjoy an online version of, if not American Idol, then perhaps HGTV’s Design Star).
The launch announcement of HuffPost Live describes the endeavor as “a cross-platform video experience, distributed online, mobile, and over-the-top (OTT) that allows users to both watch and engage with the stories they are viewing – either live or on-demand,” with programming that will “spotlight the hottest stories on The Huffington Post across a full range of topics and use them as jumping off points for conversations and commentary.” At launch, the service will offer programming five days a week, with twelve hours of continual coverage each day, from “state of the art” studios in New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC. No specific programming not on-air presenters have been announced as yet.
The service will launch on August 13 (There’s already a countdown clock for those particularly excited about it going live, accompanied by a form inviting you to “join the conversation”).