Yahoo Beefs Up Digital Content With New Video Channels

Video is going to be a huge focus for Yahoo in the coming year, according to the company’s NewFront event at New York City’s Lincoln Center earlier this week.

Over the last year, Yahoo has rebranded itself with a series of digital magazines, five of which – Yahoo Style, Yahoo Beauty, Yahoo Movies, Yahoo Travel, and Yahoo Parenting – have reached number one in their respective categories, outperforming the online content of long-standing consumer magazines. Yahoo plans to beef up the publications’ video offerings, evolving them into full-blown digital video channels.

Some of the new original series include I Am Naomi, a reality-talk show hybrid starring Naomi Campbell on Yahoo Style; Thug Kitchen, a Yahoo Food series featuring popular Millennial food bloggers; and Offensive Indifference on Yahoo Sports, in which professional athletes will be interviewed by a comedian. To reach consumers, advertisers can buy a show, a channel, or an audience, said Lisa Utzschneider, Yahoo’s senior vice president of sales in the Americas.

Yahoo’s video focus will extend beyond its online magazines. In addition to other new programming – such as Ultimate DJ, an electronic music competition series, and The Pursuit, “an edgier, 21st-century take on Friends in the era of social media” – the media giant will continue to stream live concerts through its partnerships with Live Nation and iHeartMedia.

“It’s clear that [Yahoo is] really starting to segment content into verticals that marketers can play in with credibility,” says Rich Guest, president of Tribal Worldwide – North America, citing Ultimate DJ as a perfect example of this.” There is a clear segment of the population that is into the DJ culture and DJ content and [electronic music], and there is a set of brands that very clearly have messaging relevance against that target.”

Guest adds that Yahoo was very smart to shift to shorter-form content. By doing this, the media giant makes its digital magazines more mobile-friendly.

“We’re in a look-down culture where everyone consumes tons of media in a distracted way,” he says.

Mobile will be another focus for Yahoo this year, according to chief executive (CEO) Marissa Mayer. Though the NewFront event centered on video, Mayer said it’s only one piece of what she calls MVNS – or “Mavens” – an acronym for mobile, native, and social.

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