Yahoo! Enters Webcasting Marketing Services

Yahoo released more details of its plan to bring in new revenues in conjunction with its streaming media offerings, unveiling a suite of advertising and marketing products for the portal’s Broadcast service.

But with the new products, which are aimed at corporate marketers, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based portal steps beyond media and ad sales, into the area of providing marketing technology services.

The company’s five new offerings are variants on Yahoo Broadcast’s formula of mixing streaming audio and video with multimedia slides. Currently, Yahoo Broadcast powers the company’s FinanceVision and ShoppingVision areas, which stream video in one corner of a media player, while showing related headlines, text, or products, in another panel.

Yahoo’s new products function similarly to its two “Vision” areas. Its Marketing Seminar is a customized Webcast and interactive presentation designed for companies to sell products to a geographically dispersed group of prospects and customers.

Similarly, Yahoo’s new Product Demonstration offering will stream on-demand video about specific products, while its Product Launch delivers product or service messaging via a Webcast event to customers, prospects, employees, analysts, etc.

The firm’s Sales Support product is meant to serve as a single source for a company’s online sales and marketing information — such as presentations, video clips, reference documents, and so on — to train and support an in-field sales staff.

Lastly, a Brand Equity product will allow marketers to stream corporate messages to clients and customers.

The new suite comes more than two years after Yahoo shelled out about $5.7 billion in stock for streaming services firm Broadcast.com, a move that industry watchers regarded as an effort to capitalize on the future expansion of broadband. In April, the company released a new version of Broadcast.com, which it relabeled as Yahoo Broadcast, and touted its benefits to advertisers — namely, streaming media’s TV-like brand-building capabilities.

But as the advertising market continues to deteriorate, Yahoo — like others in the online marketing space — evidently considers providing the technology behind Web-based corporate and sales communications as more lucrative than streaming media ad sales. (It’s also promised Wall Street that it would work to wean itself off of ad revenues as its sole source of income.)

“Our marketing solution packages help marketing departments deliver compelling campaigns to targeted audiences while saving corporate communications dollars,” said Jim Lewandowski, vice president of Yahoo Business and Enterprise Services. “Our latest products further our commitment to help organizations more effectively and efficiently engage, communicate and transact with target audiences.”

In recent months, Yahoo has made other efforts at a similar shift away from media and B2C e-commerce revenues. For one, the portal’s Corporate Yahoo services aim to turn intranet development for companies into a sizable source of income. Yahoo also recently introduced a domain name registration business aimed at users and businesses.

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