Since the tech-centric Marissa Mayer was hired to head up Yahoo last summer, questions have lingered about the company’s commitment to original content.
Perhaps putting an end to those questions, Yahoo unveiled a slew of new media projects, partnerships, and program expansions at its Digital Content NewFront on Monday night.
New projects include “Tiny Commando” -- a new action series created by and starring Ed Helms as a four-inch-tall private investigator; “Losing Your Virginity with John Stamos,” which is co-produced by Morgan Spurlock and features Stamos interviewing various celebrities about their first sexual experiences; and Vuguru’s “We Need Help,” featuring actors Cheryl Hines and Rachael Harris running their shared personal assistant ragged.
“The new shows and partnerships … demonstrate how we are building scale, reaching more targeted audiences, and innovating with content,” said Erin McPherson, Yahoo vice president and head of video.
As McPherson stressed, original content has been a top priority for Yahoo over the past year. As a result, “In the last year, we have more than doubled the original video programming,” she said.
Yahoo on Monday also showed off a number of new ad opportunities, including "stream ads" -- a performance-based native ad embedded in the personalized content stream on the new Yahoo home page; and "billboard," which is positioned at the top of the Yahoo home page, and was designed to offer rich and immersive interactions.
Yahoo also presented a new video ad-buying method, which blends its own topical video channels with distribution partners’ video content to create 18 new category-specific channels.
In addition to its recently announced “Saturday Night Live” distribution deal, Yahoo announced several new partnerships, including a global video distribution partnership for WWE -- which will include a dedicated hub on Yahoo for all WWE content -- and the next phase of its partnership with Disney’s ABC News Network.
In another new partnership, Yahoo said it has agreed to distribute Conde Nast Entertainment’s video content across its network.
Yahoo also announced plans to program its new fall comedy lineup -- including previously announced shows, “The Fuzz” from Vuguru, and “Ghost Girls” from Shine America and Electric Dynamite -- in a new way. Based on insights from user data, Yahoo said it is making all episodes available at once in what it’s calling a “binge-viewing” format.
Expanding its lifestyle vertical, Yahoo unveiled several new projects, including “Fashion Recipe” -- which features frugal fashion tips from celebrity stylist Brett Alan Nelson; the food and film-focused “Cinema & Spice;” and the tentatively titled “Grill Girls,” in which chef Megan Mitchell reveals her grilling tips and secrets.