Yahoo: Our Video Strategy Is More 'Holistic' than YouTube's

Premium video is taking off online, largely because TV advertisers aren't eager to sponsor user-generated clips. A panel at the recent Streaming Media West conference told how online video has moved from UGC to how-to videos to premium content, and spoke to some of the people making it happen.

YouTube has gotten a lot of attention for the 100 channel build-out now underway, but Yahoo is also stepping forward in premium original content. After showing a short clip of Yahoo video highlights to the audience, Anna Robertson, head of Yahoo Studios, told how both announcements helped the entire industry, just as a rising tide lifts all boats.

"The YouTube announcement and what we're doing, as well, is great for all of us here, and great for anybody who cares about content creation and talent coming to the internet. It's a really exciting time," said Robertson. She went on to explain how Yahoo's strategy differs from YouTube.

"What I say about our strategy is that we've been building audience around these kinds of shows that you saw in the video for years. 'Primetime in No Time' is a show we've been doing for four or five years, it has half a billion streams, so I think we've been successfully driving audience to these programs. We also are exploring a channel strategy that's a lot more focused than YouTube's. They've launched a hundred different channels. I think all of us probably know that not all of those are going to succeed. We launched a female-oriented slate of programming earlier this year to offer advertisers the opportunity to buy into a collection of premium programs. We're going to be announcing another one of those slates coming up in the next two weeks, and another one for next year," added Robertson.

Competing with YouTube for advertisers and eyeballs can't be easy, but Yahoo is doing it with targeted programming.

"We're a lot more strategic and focused on our specific channels, and I think what differentiates us from YouTube is YouTube is really a video platform and a video sales platform," explained Robertson. "We're more of a holistic media organization and a place where we can provide context. We have the most premium licensed content that you can find on the web anywhere."

To view the entire panel discussion, watch the video below.

The Business of Premium Online Video

Over the past years, the majority of online video has been short-form UGC that is not advertiser-friendly. As online video consumption grows, portals, vertical content networks, and video ad networks are looking to offer premium original content being demanded by their advertisers. With this business still in its infancy, the creative and business models are still unclear. Will what works on television work online? How does content find its audience without a traditional network to market and promote it? Does it make sense to create content without an advertiser funding it? Who are the players in the new ecosystem? A panel of heavyweights from the content creation, digital media, and ad agency worlds debate and discuss the current state and where things are headed.

Moderator: Matt Farber, President, DoubleBounce

Speaker: Brad Murphy, Chief Revenue Officer, Revision3

Speaker: Anna Robertson, Head of Yahoo! Studios, Yahoo!

Speaker: Scott Donaton, President, CEO Ensemble

Speaker: Brian Fitzgerald, Co-Founder, President, Evolve Media and Gorilla Nation

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