Yahoo in Branded-Entertainment Deal

GroupM Entertainment has announced a partnership with Yahoo to develop multiple branded-entertainment series, which will be distributed on several top Yahoo properties, including Yahoo Sports, Yahoo News and Yahoo Finance.

Though the two companies have yet to green light any particular series or sign specific sponsors, several series concepts are being discussed. Among the projects in development is a pair of reality series, including a show centered on a band on tour titled The Rock ‘n Roll Jet Plane! and one tracking two unemployed people as they search for jobs in each of the 50 states called Now Hiring: The Great American Job Search.

Yahoo and GroupM are seeking to cast several well-known actresses in Tales From the Carpool Lane, a series about different types of moms. That series would look to leverage Yahoo’s community by soliciting story ideas from the audience. The two camps are also discussing The Yahoo Insider, a show that would potentially send users to prominent entertainment, sporting, political or business events to share their first-person perspective through blogging and shooting photos and videos.
 
As part of the partnership, GroupM has agreed to make a financial commitment to Yahoo, though terms have not been disclosed.

The pact with GroupM would appear to be something of a victory for Yahoo’s branded-entertainment division. Just a few years ago, GroupM’s Mindshare Entertainment unit created the Web series In the Motherhood exclusively for Yahoo rival MSN, which has made original branded entertainment a major emphasis. ABC eventually picked up that show, which, like Tales From the Carpool Lane, used real stories provided by its audience.

Yahoo’s GroupM partnership is being stewarded by Erika Nardini, vp of packaging, who previously ran branded entertainment at MSN.

Nielsen Business Media