EXCLUSIVE: ‘Rise’ with AOL’s New Live Morning Show

/ Jan 26, 2015

Rise AOL

AOL has premiered a new morning show to bring online and mobile users the latest news and headlines as they start their day.

Called “Rise,” the show will distill the latest in news, sports, music, finance, weather, and lifestyle into bite-sized 90-second clips, which will air live on the hour, every hour, from 6am to 9am ET. Shot every weekday from the studio at AOL headquarters in New York, the show will also be available on demand following the initial live streams.

For AOL, “Rise” is an experiment in both live and mobile content, says Dermot McCormack, president of video at AOL. While the show certainly has a format and release strategy, the company is not beholden to them. “We see ‘Rise’ as acting much more like ‘software’ than regular television. We will iterate and improve through regular updates,” says McCormack.

Video has become a booming business for AOL, which stands with YouTube and Facebook as one of the three largest online video properties in the US, according to comScore’s tracking of monthly desktop video viewing.

But as mobile viewing continues to grow, AOL wants to create programming that people will want to watch when they are on their handheld devices — like in the morning.

On this matter, AOL recently conducted a “morning rituals” study, which “brought to light a strong need to deliver relevant and timely content that enables users to start their days efficiently,” according to the company. Per the research, 85% of consumers use their smartphones before leaving the bed in the morning, while 12% use their tablets and 7% turn on their TV. When it comes to specific activities, 44% of consumers access email before leaving bed, 22% use social media, and 12% get the news.

The goal for AOL is to integrate “Rise” into that morning ritual. At launch, the show is available via its own landing page on AOL.com, which is optimized for both web and mobile browsers. Eventually, it will get its own app, says McCormack, who also hints at a “number of partnerships” in the future that will seed “Rise” clips “everywhere you are in the morning.”

“Rise” is hosted by Mari White, an on-air personality whose credits include ESPN, stage shows in New York, and various other network roles, according to AOL. She was cast through auditions held by AOL last year.

The culmination of an initiative that began more than a year ago — when AOL first unveiled its interest in developing a live streaming experience — “Rise” won’t be alone for long. The company is also developing a sports show. Details are still scarce about the project, though AOL has cast Nick Creegan to host the program. More information will be released “very soon,” says McCormack.

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  • Glen B.

    Mari is the newest entrant to the who’s who of rising media stars! Can wait until her new reality show lauching in 2016! Awesome!

  • Glen B.

    Mari is the newest entrant to the who’s who of rising media stars! Can wait until her new reality show launching in 2016! Awesome!

  • DMH

    Fabulous! Can’t wait to watch

  • TPB

    Wait I thought she was launching this year, SMH. will have to wait?? 🙁

  • Paul M.

    does mari look tired or is it just me? she needs to open those beautiful eyes. great set. awesome.

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