Will More Digital TV Be a Catalyst for AOL Inc. Stock?

Will AOL  (NYSE: AOL.DL  ) stock benefit from even more original programming? Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the company's strategy, and its implications, in the following video.

You might say that AOL is looking to the stars. Among the 12 new shows it ordered late last month, a handful are to be hosted or produced by Hollywood stars: James Franco, Zoe Saldana, Steve Buscemi, and Ellen DeGeneres will be involved with the new slate of originals airing on the budding network.

AOL's move comes as Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) has bet big on a variety of genre programming via what it calls "Xbox Originals." Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO  ) , too, is getting into the game with investments in half-hour sitcoms delivered over the Web.

So, what sets AOL's effort apart? Tim says it may be best to think of its lineup as filled with "perspective" shows that offer a unique spin on a topic. For example, Franco's show -- Making a Scene With James Franco -- aims to creatively reenact scenes from classic Hollywood movies. Kevin Nealon's Laugh Lessons, produced with DeGeneres, purports to teach kids about comedy.

Can the strategy work? Stars could certainly help draw in viewers. And yet Tim isn't optimistic, if only because YouTube is rife with shows similar in tone and style to what AOL seems to be offering.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you like the network's programming approach? Do you expect it boost AOL stock? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short AOL stock at current prices.

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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