Yahoo, Current Launch Vlog Network

Yahoo will start a new video-sharing site through a partnership with Current TV, the cable network founded by former Vice President Al Gore.

The Yahoo Current Network encompasses both professional and amateur videos aimed at 18- to-24-year-olds, and will debut with four channels on Yahoo Video. Current Buzz will feature segments highlighting popular Web stories, and will be produced by Madeleine Smithberg, co-creator and former executive producer of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

The other three channels will focus on sports, autos and travel, respectively. A total of eight channels are expected to be offered by the end of 2007. Each channel will carry one studio-produced segment and 8 to 10 user-created pieces each day.

User-contributed videos will be filtered to screen out offensive material and edited to ensure a high level of editorial and technical quality, according to Jason Zajac, general manager for social media at Yahoo. He said the screening process should allay marketer concerns about advertising alongside user-created programming.

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In addition to 15- and 30-second video pre-roll ads, Yahoo is offering standard banners and sponsorship opportunities on the Yahoo Current Network. Zajac said the company is currently in talks with existing Yahoo and Current TV advertisers and expects to name advertisers for the new video network soon.

He explained that some prospective advertisers are interested in creating their own viral video campaigns targeting Yahoo Current's youthful audience, while others favor more traditional branding spots. Sponsorships will initially be offered across all the site's channels as a package, but may also be limited to individual channels going forward, said Zajac.

To date, Yahoo has watched as new social sites such as YouTube and MySpace.com have built huge, young audiences around Web video. Earlier this year, the company largely abandoned producing original video in favor of content partnerships with outside media companies such as Current TV.

Current TV has a separate partnership with Google called Google Current, a program on the network that looks at searches people are conducting on Google. Started last year, Current TV is now in 30 million homes.

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