Sunday, March 15, 2009

Yahoo tries something new. Again.

In an earlier post, I mentioned sites Hulu and Joost, which offer web users a legal way to download/stream their favorite shows or movies (including network programs). This article by Brian Stetler of the NY Times draws attention to Yahoo's attempt to generate original video programming via its site...and what went wrong the first time. He cites the company's extremely expensive attempts to draw television viewers to the website with original talk shows and sitcoms and calls them all "disasters." 

Sibyl Goldman, Yahoo's head of entertainment, cites the problem being one that has been discussed throughout the entire IMC program, targeting the right audience and identifying a need. Their latest attempt will create the programming in reverse: target their largest audience and build programs around what they want to see. 

This could have been groundbreaking had it not been done already by Sprint and Suave, with the "In The Motherhood" series. These original short "webisodes" are genuinely funny and were written from real moms sending in hilarious moments from their everyday lives. Check out the first one, filmed in 2007:

Interestingly enough, Yahoo's first series is called "From Spotlight to Nightlight" and targets moms, with topics such as zany celebrity baby names. Nowhere in the article did Stetzer reference the success of "In the Motherhood" as an original web series or its success crossing over to a series for ABC this spring. This is a great example of web-originated video crossing over into mainstream media. 

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