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Yahoo! Goes Pro With Webcast Studio

Yahoo! Wednesday launched Yahoo! Webcast Studio Professional as an updated version of its Webcast Studio platform.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based media company said the idea is to offer a way to stimulate more corporate Internet broadcasting, by giving companies the license the self-publishing tools necessary for customers to create, edit, publish, manage, and measure their own webcasts.

The licenses go for $250,000 a year, plus an additional fee of $2,000 to $5,000 per event. And companies like Compaq , Texas Instruments and Canada Newswire are among nine clients that have already signed up for to use the product.

Yahoo! has been in the webcasting business since it spent $5 billion in stock to acquire Broadcast.com in 1999. The original business model had Yahoo! managing Webcast Studio with hoards of engineers and other techies, but that got too costly. So now the company is letting their clients take care of the backend themselves.

"This is truly a customer-led evolution of the broadcasting platform we have used to produce and deliver thousands of corporate events," said Yahoo! Enterprise Solutions senior vice president Jim Fanella. "By licensing this platform, we give our customers the control to publish their own webcasts with greater speed to market and greater cost efficiency. We believe this platform will bring about more rapid corporate adoption for webcasting and drive day-to-day usage of this powerful communications medium."

Webcast Studio Professional is currently in use for a variety of communications functions including on-line seminars, training, marketing, and building video asset libraries.

The updated version features ways to customize and brand user interface, registration, and viewer surveys; manage audience interactivity, Q&A, and polls; view audience participation statistics; and automatically archive to a video library.

Compaq said it plans to use Webcast Studio Professional for a variety of training, product launches, and other corporate communications.

"We chose Yahoo!'s Webcast Studio Professional to meet our increasing broadcasting needs because of the flexibility and consistency it offers our marketing teams and, more importantly, the convenience it brings to our customers through on-demand programming," said Compaq director of Worldwide Interactive Communications Mary Bermel.

To entice more businesses to buy the licenses, Yahoo! is also offering an online seminar and product demonstration of the new platform on May 1, 2002 at 11:00 a.m. CST.