Yahoo! Delves Into TV-Style Programming

Yahoo! is about to make a big jump into the entertainment business. The Internet behemoth is poised to launch a slate of new TV-style shows, reports Variety–including one by Oscar-nominated documentarian Morgan Spurlock. Niecy Nash and Judy Greer will also be among a group of new hosts helming original shows online.

From Variety:

[Spurlock] will host and produce “The Failure Club,” which follows 10 adults as they try to get past their fear of failure and take on various challenges, such as a banker looking to break into standup comedy.

Greer, a character actor best known for comedic roles, hosts “Healthy Gal: A Work in Progress,” which takes a lighthearted approach toward exploring how best to stay fit while on the road.

Nash, meanwhile, will host a comedic, relationship-oriented show called “Let’s Talk About Love.” The topics of each show will apparently be mined from Yahoo!’s massive trove of user-gathered data.

It’s all part of a strategy to maximize ad revenue from Yahoo!’s huge audience of 177 million users per month.
Yahoo! original video content already edges Hulu in views by about 2.6 million per month. Its clip show “Primetime in No Time” is the most watched original show on the Internet. However, Variety notes, Yahoo!’s videos don’t command the kind of prime advertising that Hulu and its premium network shows can attract. Original, high-quality programming could potentially change that. Or it could be a wildly expensive failure.

We’re just riffing here, but if Yahoo! wants to make a splash in the entertainment world, it should start lurking outside the offices of AMC. That network doesn’t appear to have the cash to keep all of its wonderful shows happy. Poaching a show like The Walking Dead would be a pretty good way of letting advertisers know they’ve arrived in the entertainment world.