Yahoo, the former search engine, has made some big changes regarding video content recently. First it shed user generated video content. Secondly YaBing announced that it would be looking to invest even more in unique video content – following rather heavy investment in 2010. Now, finally, comes the acquisition of the TV-sharing start up company called IntoNow. Clearly there is a changing of the tide, but what does it all mean?
Two big changes have happened at Yahoo HQ, the focus on professional produced video content and the purchase of a TV check in service. Both appear to be part of Yahoo’s new focus on video content and social media, as they look to raise dwindling revenues and focus more on their (highly successful) display advertising.
Since the arrival of chief executive Carol Bartz, Yahoo have been focused on content creation [See: Yahoo Increasingly Looking to Content to Fill Search Void] as a way of profiting from advertising. A great example of this was their purchase of Premier League Highlights [See: Yahoo Flirt with Premier League Football and Foursquare to Kick-start Revival].
It was reported earlier in the month that Yahoo were focusing on video content. This would be funded by brands and centred on how-to beauty and lifestyle videos. The idea was that professionally produced content would boost a user’s engagement with the adverts and hence create a more effective advertising campaign and brand awareness.
The emphasis on professional content as opposed to user generated videos, such as YouTube was further emphasised as it has also been reported that Yahoo were dumping their user content. Therefore, Yahoo’s ongoing streamlining and ‘Sunset Sale’ [See: Yahoo’s ‘Sunset’ Sale Begins] also seems to have hit Yahoo Videos. However, instead of going away altogether, they are concentrating their efforts on video content produced by themselves and their partners – presumably a more profitable avenue.
It is clear then that Yahoo’s intentions have been to diversify into new areas, especially due to falling revenues and profits [See: Yahoo’s 2011 Q1 Results: Revenues and Net Earnings Down]. As part of this revival, they are also looking to expand into areas such as mobile internet marketing as well as video content to boost video advertising online – and it appears they are willing to spend big to do so. It has been reported that Yahoo’s acquisition of IntoNow has been at the pricey sum of $20 – $30 Million – something of a gamble when you consider the company is only 12 weeks old.
IntoNow is a TV-sharing start up company which has developed a mobile app that allows users to check-into the TV programmes they are watching. This is done using ‘Soundprint’ technology which recognises the audio from the television show. With a database of over five years worth of US based programming, the app detects the programme and episode the consumer is watching. Whilst it is unsure just how accurate the software is, it hasn’t put Yahoo off from the major purchase.
The app is integrated with Facebook, Twitter, iTunes and Netfix and will allow users to share content, and engage in conversations based on what someone is watching. From the looks of it, this is an innovative way for Yahoo to engage in both video content and social media, but just how successful it will be is another thing.
So, this COULD yet be another step on the road to recovery for Yahoo. The focus on video content and the sharing of TV habits on social media platforms, offers engagement and valuable search bait. It sounds ingenious enough and could certainly give them the social media exposure they are craving, however question marks still surround Yahoo’s new focus. Will it be effective? And more importantly to them, will it boost their profits? What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment.