Dubbed "Broadband on Broadway," the event was intended to be the Internet industry's answer to the lavish upfront "upfront" presentations hosted annually by the major TV networks. On hand were some of Yahoo's top executives, including CEO Terry Semel and Chief Sales Officer Wenda Millard, to educate media buyers about the benefits of advertising online.
Millard said the effort was aimed at addressing the "disconnect" between consumers spending 17% of their time online and only 6% of ad dollars going to the Internet. With the aid of a giant screen and a talking Yahoo gopher, she and other company executives spent the next 90 minutes making the case why more of those ad dollars should go toward Yahoo.
While few details were disclosed about the new Yahoo Video site, Weiner indicated it would do a better job of pulling together the best video material from its different sections including news, music, food and sports. In addition to featuring the most popular user-submitted videos, the redesigned site will also attempt to highlight some of the best as selected by Yahoo editorial staff.
From a technical standpoint, the revamped Yahoo Videos would also seek to deliver a more consistent user experience by incorporating a universal media player capable of handling different video formats. Content sections on Yahoo currently use different types of media players. The revamped videos site is expected to be relaunched in the coming months.
In the course of his presentation showcasing all things Yahoo from Flickr to search, Weiner suggested some new advertising possibilities including a branded Yahoo Mail interface or "skin" as an option for users. The screen above the stage showed a normal Yahoo Mail screen suddenly change to a sporty red version bearing the Nike swoosh logo, as an example.
And in touting Yahoo's new "brand universes"--enthusiast sites on the portal dedicated to specific brands--the company disclosed that upcoming ones will focus on hit TV shows including "Heroes," "American Idol," "24" and "The Office."