Dulles (VA) - In a bid to offer new features to differentiate itself from competitors like Youtube, AOL Video today launched its first live streaming channel, an online simulcast of the home shopping network QVC, offering another small step in the convergence of TV and the Internet.
Beginning today, users can go to the AOL Video portal and watch QVC online in real-time. The agreement with the home shopping channel also extends to another channel, QVC On Demand, which will premiere next week.
According to AOL, this is the first time that a TV network has offered live streaming of its programming 24/7 from an external outlet.
Other key players in TV, like CNN, Comedy Central, and CBS, have crossed over to the Internet in a big way, but have stuck to offering short clips of prerecorded content or exclusive footage not aired on TV.
QVC hopes the addition of Internet broadcasting will beef up its traffic and sales on QVC.com, since viewers will already be connected online and would have easy access to items featured on the channel. "Launching streaming video on AOL will allow more e-commerce consumers to experience QVC and our innovative product offerings," said QVC.com senior VP Bob Myers.