Web giant Yahoo took the lid off a new slate of video programming during its Digital Content NewFront presentation in New York on Wednesday. The unveiling of a new show featuring Katie Couric -- as well as an animated Sci-Fi series produced by Tom Hanks -- headlined the event, which was designed to be a content showcase for advertisers and press similar to a network television upfront.
The new Katie Couric series, called “Katie’s Take,” will be a weekly program devoted to health and lifestyle issues. It is being launched in partnership with ABC News, for which Couric currently serves as a special correspondent. Yahoo and ABC had entered into a content-sharing partnership last year.
Among the other new Yahoo video initiatives announced Wednesday were “Electric City,” an animated Sci-Fi series produced by actor/filmmaker Tom Hanks, “Cybergeddon,” a digital film about cybercrime from "CSI" creator Anthony Zuiker, “Dancing with Myself,” a musical comedy developed by the creators of the Broadway hit “Rock of Ages,” a new series aimed at men called “Stunt Nation,” and a new talk show with actor Jeff Goldblum. The new programs will be added to Yahoo's existing video portfolio, which includes 15 original video production partners, 40+ original series, and more than 300 original episodes per month.
Unlike competitor AOL -- which yesterday announced a new portal that assembles its video content at a single destination -- Yahoo wants its video programming to be consumed mainly in the context of the vertical destinations in which they appear, such as Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, and Yahoo News etc. That said, Yahoo also has a premium video destination called Yahoo Screen, where the new video programs will be accessible, but the aggregated approach is not a main focus of its video strategy, in the same way it is for AOL.
Commenting on Yahoo’s video strategy, Mickie Rosen, SVP, Yahoo Media Network, said: "We're bringing celebrated storytellers and sophisticated production capabilities to provide our audience with the types of immersive experiences they're seeking more of on the Web."