Yahoo! is currently third runner in the race to win the hearts of online video viewers worldwide, behind Google/YouTube and News Corp’s Fox Pages, including MySpace. With only 4.6 percent of the 8.36 billion video streams viewed in May of this year, Yahoo! is now making every effort to impress.
“One of our strategies is to put video everywhere you are on the Internet,” said Mike Folgner, general manager for video, who joined the Sunnyvale, California-based company last year through Yahoo’s acquisition of video site Jumpcut. “We’re going to build a much better destination for you to access all this different content.”
That destination is the revamped Yahoo! video site, set to include more user generated and media content. Yahoo! plans to feature music videos, movie trailers, television shows, and sports highlights, and has deals in place with Universal Music Group, EMI Group Plc, Associated Press and CNN to provide content. Yahoo also has plans to add video streaming to their hugely popular photo-sharing website, Flickr.
Yahoo! shares have dropped a total of 8.5 percent this year, despite the fact that it is the most visited U.S. web site. Yahoo! are aiming to attract more users to the site with the new video features, in a time when online video is booming (over 130 million Americans viewed online video in May!). “We’ll be able to drive a lot of traffic at this,” says Folgner.
Capitalizing on the popularity and strength of the Flickr brand could be what Yahoo! needs to boost their video popularity, however the whole venture could go a little pear shaped! As an avid Flickr user, I despair at the thought of Yahoo! adding video to the site! I also wonder what the reaction of the thousands of die-hard photography buffs will be, when their quiet life of photo stills is disturbed by a flood of moving pictures!