In a recent article, Variety reported on Yahoo’s plans to extend it’s Screen offerings after CEO Marissa Mayer and CMO Kathy Savitt made the decision to extend well beyond the shorter, more “digestible” clips. Yahoo! Screen finds itself near the bottom of a long, growing lists of streaming services both distributing their own content as well as creating in-house originals.
The release of season six of Comunity this week was Yahoo!’s first big push into distributing exclusives, and will likely be the spearhead for future efforts. Yahoo has explicitly stated their interest in distributing shows with a more comedic theme, which is an interesting strategy, to focus on a specific genre, something none of the other streaming services have tried.
Per the above Variety article:
Last spring, the company ordered two half-hour comedies, “Sin City Saints,” about a fictional NBA team in Las Vegas, from Mike Tollin (“Smallville,” “One Tree Hill”) and Mandalay Sports Media; and “Other Space,” a spoof on the sci-fi genre from Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,” “Freaks & Geeks”). It unveiled them with fanfare in New York to a Madison Avenue crowd.
Both titles are bringing experienced comedians to back relatively high budget comedies for exclusive Yahoo! Screen release.
One thing that isn’t quite as clear is as to whether or not Yahoo! plans on charging for this service anytime soon. As it stands now, anyone with broadband internet can stream Screen content directly from Yahoo!’s site; certainly a competitive advantage as other services are trying to increase prices to bring bigger content offerings. Flush with cash, Yahoo! should have some runway here to experiment, a luxury most upstart services won’t have.
We’ll certainly be keeping our eye on Screen as Mayer and co attempt to expand this offering. They certainly seemed prepare to fight the full 15 rounds against the old guard.