Casting for more eyeballs, Yahoo Inc. Monday unveiled Yahoo Broadcast, a new site replete with the latest in streaming audio and video capabilities.
In fighting through recent layoffs and weaker spending in online advertising, Yahoo desires to be the top entertainment portal in the world and has worked toward that end with its new broadcast site. As it has done previously with its text content, Yahoo has aggregated content offerings top media sites, including ABCNEWS.com, Adventure TV.com and Accuweather.
Announcing the launch from the National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas, the giant portal also beefed up its entertainment offerings with the inclusion of Bthere.tv, Classicmovies.com and Mondo Media content.
In aggregating streaming from more than a hundred providers, the company will display its content through a three-window online presentation; the video plays in the upper left window, related information is presented on the right, and the bottom window is a Web browser.
As for attracting advertisers, Yahoo feels it has hit them in the sweet spot by allowing them to purchase targeted media to reach the every-day, working-person audience at their desktop PCs; the idea is that advertisers will benefit from “trackable commercials” that lie one click away from commerce opportunities. In addition, streaming media is thought to be more brand-building than other forms of Internet advertising, so multi-media offerings may make Yahoo more attractive to traditional advertisers seeking branding, rather than a direct-response.
Travelocity has signed on to be one of the initial advertisers; Level 3 is the primary broadband provider for the service.
Yahoo could use the advertising. Two weeks ago, the company announced layoffs for the first time, along with its first quarter earnings announcement. Yahoo depends heavily on advertising revenues (83 percent) and the slowdown in ad purchasing forced the company to cut 12 percent of its workforce, or about 420 positions.
On a more positive note, Yahoo recently filled the gaping hole in its chief executive spot by snapping up Terry S. Semel, former co-chairman of Time Warner’s movie and music division, to serve as new chairman and CEO, effective May 1. Picking up Semel is indicative of Yahoo’s push to become the premiere online entertainment portal.
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