In Internet years it was about 100 years ago (human years only 3) that Yahoo closed down its initial foray into the world of video production for the web. Does anyone remember it? I don’t but that’s just me. Apparently the ambition to produce TV quality shows for the Internet was expensive and was pretty much an unmitigated failure as reported in the New York Times. No harm, no foul in this industry, really, since everything is an experiment to some degree.
So since that time Yahoo has been content to distribute content. They are still producing some video offerings but they are letting them grow more organically rather than push them aggressively to the Yahoo community at large.
Now they are stepping up their efforts but doing a 180 turn from their previous strategy. The lessons learned from trying to produce TV like offerings are evident
“We may have come at it from the wrong way in the previous era,” said Sibyl Goldman, the head of entertainment for Yahoo. Ms. Goldman said that some of those shows were developed even when they “didn’t target any existing need.”
“The one-way model — ‘We think this is great, we hope you come watch it’ — may have been more of a TV mindset,” she said.
Now to address the continued slide in banners and other advertising vehicles the “new and improved” Yahoo is building content that addresses the wants of existing groups that it services often. Included is a segment on celebrity moms called “Spotlight to Nightlight” and a daily TV wrap up show called “Primetime in No Time”.
Yahoo is already having an impact with advertisers who are taking exclusive positions to reach the audiences these programs have been created for. Verizon Wireless sponsors the daily TV recap while State Farm has decided to use the celebrity mom angle to reach women. Of note is the fact that these are done in both English and Spanish as well and can be accomplished because the host, Ali Landry, is bi-lingual.
Yahoo continues to try to find ways to survive as something other than a search engine. Many people, myself included, have been going to the Yahoo portal every day for years because of the Yahoo mail address that we can’t seem to shake. I NEVER go there to use the search engine but I’ll check out some other offerings while there because I’m, well, there. This strategy seems to make sense considering the latest news about the search market. Maybe, Yahoo should be concentrating on what’s right in their backyard and stop worrying about the other guys so much.