NEW YORK — AOL’s ambitious video operation, AOL On, doesn’t need to operate a proper TV network – because it’s digital-only original shows are already proving effective, says an exec from the outfit.

“We see a lot of effectiveness when there’s something uniquely digital about it,” AOL On operations VP Michael O’Connor tells Beet.TV’s Video Ad Effectiveness Summit in this taped interview.

“‘Candidly Nicole’ is doing a million per episode. Nicole brings her Twitter followers, she brings that experience in. Digital can bring something new.”

Candidly Nicole‘, following Nicole Ritchie, was one of 15 original online video series announced by AOL On at its April NewFront event.

Asked by interviewer Ashley J. Swartz, CEO of Furious Minds, whether AOL On needed to put the shows on TV to fully capitalize on the ad opportunity, O’Connor said:  “The reality of fully standing up a network is, there’s a barrier to entry in to that market.

“If that’s where the path leads, we’re not uncomfortable going there – but it’s not really the focus now because we don’t see it as direct competition with TV. What doesn’t work for digital is trying to exactly replicate the TV model.

“A user who consumes ‘Modern Family’ could play Angry Birds, could watch Nicole; they’re going to consume across the spectrum – we want to be in that spectrum, but I don’t think we have to own across the whole spectrum.”

It’s an interesting twist for the internet company that once merged with TV operator Time Warner to exploit  a synergized media future. Now it seems online is becoming a big enough deal in its own right.

Watch the video for more insights.

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