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Yahoo Video Strategy Take Two: Finding Audiences First, Programming Second

This story was written by David Kaplan.
Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) has been winding down the "experiments" in online video over the past few years and is now ready for another try. On Monday, the portal company will unveil the details of its current video strategy, which execs tell NYT will be focused on building programs for specific audiences instead trying to gather viewers after the fact. Sibyl Goldman, the head of entertainment for Yahoo, refers to the Terry Semel era video attempts as too grounded in the "TV mindset" or a "one-way model." It recently killed one of its video holdovers, The 9, and has been slowing growing an audience for its TV recap daily short, Primetime in No Time. Yahoo claims the program garners 400,000 daily streams.

More recently, Yahoo has created the celebrity mom series Spotlight to Nightlight. The concept came after insurance company State Farm had told the company it was looking for a way to connect with a female audience.

Trying to one-up Hollywood was a disaster, Trip Chowdhry, a senior analyst for Global Equities Research, tells NYT. By scaling back its entertainment ambitions and thinking about how it can use its strengthspulling together search and traffic datait could match advertiser and viewer interests in a more profitable way. The move comes as portal rival AOL (NYSE: TWX) has also been making some changes to its strategy over the past year, with a fewer attempts at high profile programming like the Mark Burnett Gold Rush game show and more niche websites and blogs.

By David Kaplan