Yahoo! is cashing in on the ever-lucrative TMZ/Perez Hilton beat. The troubled internet giant teamed up with Access Hollywood and X17 to launch their new celebrity gossip site, omg!.
The result? A mixed bag. Yahoo!’s site represents a low-cost way for them to cut into the celeb news market: Rather than offering original content, the heavily photo-centric omg! aggregates photographs from X17 and other agencies, Associated Press and Reuters wire stories, and video content from Access Hollywood. There’s no TMZ-style original reporting and no exclusive celebrity photos are available; Access‘ video clips are the only original-to-the-web content omg! offers.
The collaboration is Yahoo!’s first major post-Lloyd Braun content initiative and has already scored Unilever and Pepsi as sponsors and, notably, lured Access Hollywood away from a prior content-sharing agreement with MSN. The verdict from the blogosphere is that omg! has the aesthetics of a porn site and, perhaps conversely, will likely generate lots of traffic for Yahoo!. As for Access Hollywood, they are planning a major revamp of their Internet presence that will include a social networking component as well.