Yahoo Wants Original Video Content, Just like Netflix [WSJ]

Yahoo's Marissa Mayer hopes to announce a deal by the end of April

Yahoo is reportedly looking to acquire programming that would normally appear on the likes of Netflix, namely a 10-episode comedy series with half-hour episodes.

The Wall Street Journal reports that people briefed with the company’s plans are indicating that Yahoo’s online video ambitions are running high and that the company is looking to invest in new programs that would get people interested in the site again.

This isn’t the first time that Yahoo has hosted original shows, but unlike in previous years, the company is looking for the full experience, rather than short-form shows.

The budget per episode could range from $700,000 and go into the millions range, which indicates that Yahoo isn’t scared of investing some money in the right place.

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO, is reportedly hoping to make the big announcement as soon as the end of this month. The company would thus enter the competition along with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu as provider of original content.

Such services have become more and more popular in recent years, as people have started to watch more content online rather than in front of the TV. The fact that you can pick what to watch rather than sit through the fixed programs that TV networks have established is also a big attraction for anyone looking to relax for a few hours.

In fact, users are so entranced by the online options they’re offered that they’re cutting their pay-TV subscriptions, choosing Netflix or Amazon instead.

Yahoo is looking to cash in on these changes and join the trend before there are too many players in the market.

Mayer has been focusing on the online video element of her strategy since she joined Yahoo, buying quite a few companies that deal in this area. Most recently, the company has reportedly been interested in buying video service News Distribution Network, although the deal hasn’t been cemented thus far.

Yahoo is apparently hoping to secure the deal on the original programming until April 28, when Yahoo holds the “NewFront” event, so advertisers can get a sneak peak at what’s in plan for the tech giant.

It remains to be seen whether Yahoo succeeds and if this is the solution the company needs to become relevant again and to attract new regular users to boost its ad cash income. Despite its best efforts so far, Yahoo has only managed to improve by a fraction since Mayer joined the company, although investors seem to really hope for the company’s return, judging by the stock prices.

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