Merrill Lynch Gives Thumbs Up To Yahoo!'s Hollywood Ambitions
The Showtime deal, combined with agreements with "Apprentice" creator Mark Burnett, demonstrate that Yahoo! is serious about adding original television content to its Web site, wrote Lauren Rich Fine in the report. "We believe this development by Yahoo! continues to expand its original content offerings as anticipated and is likely to be only the start of more streaming original TV content on Yahoo!," Fine wrote.
The report also noted that Yahoo!'s deals with Hollywood have helped diversify its revenue, so that it's not nearly as dependent on sponsored search listings as rival Google--which derives nearly all revenue from paid search.
Lloyd Braun, hired by Yahoo! in November, appears to be playing a major role in luring more entertainment-related content to the site, wrote Fine. "Lloyd Braun is having an impact," states the report. "We believe Yahoo! will be able to leverage its entertainment contacts and existing content better."