Yahoo is upping its bet on online video, with The Wall Street Journal reporting that the company plans to buy high-quality original programming.
The programming will be the type that would normally air on high-end cable or streaming services such as Netflix, the piece adds. While Yahoo has focused previously on short-form Web originals, it now wants to buy 10-episode half-hour comedies that have production budgets as high as a few million dollars, the story reports.
Yahoo aims to show off the TV content April 28 when the company has its “NewFront” event, a version of the upfront sales pitches made by television networks. Chief Executive Marissa Mayer is making online video a focus of her strategy to boost Yahoo’s revenue and to get consumers to spend more time on the site.
The story reports: “The TV landscape has fragmented over the past several years as consumer habits have changed and new online distribution models have emerged. Plenty of Americans still watch TV: 283 million each month, according to Nielsen. But rather than sitting in front of a TV set to see a show as it airs, many more viewers are watching when they choose, through apps and on-demand services from cable companies, and subscription online services like Netflix and Hulu. Users now binge on entire seasons of programming if they choose.”
Yahoo declined to comment.
WSJ adds that Yahoo hasn’t yet bought any programming and it’s not clear whether Mayer will have any deals in place before the April 28 event.