Yahoo Searches for Video Talent

Yahoo plans to create a show around viral content, and has given its users eight weeks to submit and vote on videos to find the show’s host. The effort began with a talent search this week housed at talentshow.yahoo.com.

The contest, which aims to locate talent for a regular show, will be marketed through both online and offline efforts. Ads appear in the form of a PSA with the URL savethewebfrombadvideos.org, which points surfers to the contest’s submission page. Yahoo said it will advertise on its own sites, on video-focus properties and via offline efforts such as street teams. The effort kicked off on Yahoo’s daily show, “The 9,” which points to the top 9 viral content or video events of the day.

Users are asked to submit video through the end of November. A daily show running from November 13 to December 4 will feature the top content and facilitate a voting period. The winner will get a show produced by Yahoo Studios and a $50K signing bonus.

“Obviously, with this being a new kind of landscape, we want to see who has talent on the Internet and how they are showcasing it on the Internet,” said Yahoo Studios’ GM, Drew Buckley. “[We will] build a show, provide a platform, and have the user community go out there and judge the best.”

Yahoo’s efforts to package a show around user-submitted video comes two weeks after Google’s acquisition of YouTube.

The contest is produced in collaboration with Michael Davies-backed Embassy Row, which also produces “The 9” with the portal. At this time the project plans to refrain from the term “cewebrity” which is well-used on “The 9” to discuss Web personalities.

The show has yet to pick up any sponsors, though Buckley expects to have one or more finalized by the November 13 launch. Sponsorship will likely be similar to Pepsi’s sponsorship of “The 9,” which integrates a call to action with the experience.

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