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
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
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.