Make room in your TV-watching schedule for Yahoo: The company emphasized its commitment to digital video with new live and original programming and an expansion of its digital magazines at the company's NewFronts presentation today.
CEO Marissa Mayer said that with traditional TV viewing down 1 percent and online video consumption up 28 percent, it's time to pay attention to digital video.
"Users expect online content to be as good, if not better, than TV," she added.
As part of the company's promise to focus on live programming, it will stream at least one live concert per day in conjunction with Live Nation. Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts is the first announced advertiser of the music series, but Ned Brody, head of the Americas, told Adweek that Yahoo is open to up to four sponsors.
"We're debuting a rich set of content, original and live content, that we think is going to be extremely interesting to advertisers," Brody said.
Original series includes mockumentary Sin City Saints. The Mike Tollin-helmed (One Tree Hill, Smallville) show will "follow" Las Vegas' first professional basketball team as it succeeds in failing to win a championship. Other Space, a comedy series created by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Freaks and Geeks), will follow explorers as they travel through alternate universes. Yahoo promised more shows in the near future.
Global news anchor Katie Couric also announced two news programs. World 3.0 will look at "tech titans on the cutting edge who are really changing the way we live." Her other show, Now I Get It, will explain the concepts behind hot topics like Bitcoin.
Some Web shows will be hosted on Yahoo's rebranded verticals, now known as digital magazines. Earlier this year, Yahoo Fashion, headed by Joe Zee, joined Yahoo Tech and Yahoo Food as part of the company's move toward in-depth Web content.
The company also unveiled Yahoo Travel, sponsored by Walt Disney Resorts. This site will have original content and programming, including the Web series Photo Tripping with the author of My Last Supper, Melanie Dunea. Yahoo Travel editor Paula Froelich, formerly of Page Six, said the show is for the worldly wanderer who didn’t want "Le Bernardin all the time, but sometimes (they) want a hole in the wall."