Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on March 20th, 2009

Yahoo! Changes CEO and Video Strategy

Much like any other business, the changing of the name plate on the CEO’s desk brings change to internal processes. Yahoo! is no different. Carol Bartz is taking over the best window office at Yahoo! and rolling out a new approach to video. In the past, when Terry Semel ran Yahoo, the web portal embarked on a grandiose Hollywood-style video strategy. Under Semel, Yahoo produced TV-like original video series, but found little success in the venture. It was abandoned when Semel stepped down. Now Yahoo! wants to get their video engine revving again, and its Carol Bartz’ turn to try for success.

The new video strategy calls for shorter and more focused video series. There are already a few shows on dial, such as “Spotlight to Nightlight”, which will feature famous moms sharing anecdotes about fame and, well, being a mom. Ali Landry, a former Miss USA and fluent in both Spanish and English, will host. Yahoo hopes that Landry will help attract a female audience. The show will also be sponsored by State Farm Insurance, who is looking for new ways to reach a female audience. Yahoo! also has a series that will recap prime-time television called “Primetime in No Time.” The shorts are two- to five-minutes long and average roughly 400,000 daily streams. “Primetime” is sponsored by Verizon Wireless.

Yahoo!’s new model is pairing targeted entertainment with very eager corporate sponsors. This has a forecast for success, which is great news for a video portal that has been very quiet since 2006. Yahoo! will be the first to admit that their old approach to video strategies were falling very short of expectations. It was a television approach to the web, when one-way models were thought to be transient. Blanket strategies are no more, unless you are building a fort in your living room for your son’s soccer team sleep over. If your business in online and you have a blanket strategy, it may be time to give us a call, or shoot us an email.

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