Yahoo! Adds Original Adventure Content

Yahoo! on Monday said it added globe-trotting author/director Richard Bangs to its growing stable of content producers. Bangs' first assignment--which took him up the side of a Swiss mountain peak--is already available to viewers who visit Richard Bangs Adventures via Yahoo! News in the form of written stories, and streamed audio and video. Some of the footage will be used in an IMAX film scheduled for release by 2007.

Electronics manufacturer Casio is currently the exclusive advertiser supporting Richard Bangs Adventures--located at adventures.yahoo.com. And beyond topical ad placement, Bangs is also using Casio's EX-Z750 digital camera to capture the footage on display.

In hopes of creating more original content to differentiate itself from rivals like Google and MSN, Yahoo! approached Bangs over the summer, offering to take him on full time. Just last month, Yahoo! said it hired its own war correspondent, Kevin Sites, to provide multimedia dispatches from armed conflicts around the globe. Soon after, Yahoo! Finance added several columnists to create content that can only be found on Yahoo!.

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Bangs is no stranger to intensely documented, far-off expeditions. He had worked with MSNBC and MSN, creating similar material for about nine years prior to joining Yahoo!. He has also published countless magazine pieces, 14 books, and several documentaries--and recently co-directed the IMAX Film, "Mystery of the Nile," which is currently showing in theaters.

Yahoo! also released survey results on Monday to illustrate its users' demand for adventure/travel writing and content. Yahoo! found that 72 percent of the respondents to its survey said they had been on or are planning a trip that involves adventure travel in the next five years. High-ranking travel destinations included Australia, Africa, and Alaska, Yahoo! said.

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