A great example of how online video is enabling talent to create new forms of programming targeted to particular audiences is “Extra” co-host Maria Menounos’s “AfterBuzz TV.” Formed with her partner Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV features live and on-demand “post-game” discussions of dozens of TV shows and movies. AfterBuzz TV is the ultimate water cooler for super-fans who want to drill down on every twist and turn of their favorite shows and characters.
As Maria told me recently, this is in fact how AfterBuzz TV got its start: she and Keven were die-hard “Breaking Bad” fans, but couldn’t find a place online to discuss each episode after it aired and connect with other super-fans. They started small, but as AfterBuzz TV has found its groove, they’ve added after shows about more and more TV series and movies. The studio now has 3 recording booths where discussions begin within 10-15 minutes of an episode’s airing. Maria said the studio has become a hangout for both the super-fans/after-show hosts and also for actors/writers who often stop by to participate in the discussions.
All told, AfterBuzz TV now delivers 40-50 hours per week of programming that drives 20 million downloads per week of its podcast recordings. Video viewership is not up to that level yet since it only launched a year ago, but Maria sees this as the future direction. To help it scale its live and on-demand streaming model, AfterBuzz TV has partnered with Akamai to use its Sola Media Solutions for CDN, stream packaging, video player and site acceleration. In addition to the desktop, AfterBuzz TV has recently optimized for iOS and Android viewing.
Another part of Maria’s and Keven’s motivation for AfterBuzz TV is to help young, aspiring hosts develop reels that they can use in their professional development. In addition to their on-air time, hosts also get to participate in training seminars and networking.
AfterBuzz TV also demonstrates how online and TV can be synergistic. Though there’s a lot of buzz about how online could displace TV viewing, After Buzz TV allows TV shows to deepen their connection with fans and help build audience. That Maria and Keven have been able to do all of this without clearing the myriad hoops of traditional TV underscores how online video is a wide open field of opportunities for creative talent.
A promotional clip that Extra aired September 9th, 2013 about Vin Diesel’s interview on Conversations with Maria Menounos.
After Maria Menounos’ interview for Conversations with Maria Menounos, Perez Hilton hopped home with the help of his kangaroo boots.
A promotional clip that Extra aired May 15th, 2013 about Zoe Saldana’s interview on Conversations with Maria Menounos.
Maria Menounos gives her reaction immediately following her 1st Conversations with Maria Menounos interview (with special guest Zoe Saldana).