Yahoo to Offer Two Original TV-Length Comedy Series Exclusively on Its Website and Mobile App
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's chief executive, announced Monday evening that Yahoo is commissioning two original TV-length comedy series. These two series will be shown exclusively on its websites and mobile apps.
Yahoo also announces a partnership with Live Nation to stream one concert live on Yahoo every day for a year.
This announcement puts Yahoo into competition against websites like Amazon.com, Netflix, Google, Hulu and even Microsoft who are challenging traditional producers of television content.
At Yahoo's annual presentation of new digital offerings to advertisers at Lincoln Center, Ms. Mayer said, users expect online content to be as good as, if not better than, TV."Yahoo has made attempts to get into video in the past, but with not much success. However, Ms. Mayer believes that a push into original content will bring in new viewers and advertisers to the company.
Yahoo is committing to eight episodes each for the two comedy series. They will be paying fees that compare to what broadcast networks pay, which is in the range from $400,000 to over $1 million per episode. But Kathy Savitt, Yahoo's chief marketing officer, says "we're planning for this, even in our early days, to be break even, if not profitable."
One of the new shows, called is called"Other Space." It will feature the adventures of a misfit spaceship crew in an alternate universe. It will be produced by Paul Feig, one of the minds behind "Freaks and Geeks," and movies such as "Bridesmaids" and "The Heat."
The second show is "Sin City Saints." It will be set in the front office of a fictional pro basketball expansion team owned by a Silicon Valley billionaire. Michael Tollin, an executive producer of the show, said that Yahoo's younger audience will be a great fit for the series because "they are fishing for their phones, tablets or laptops," he said, instead of watching traditional TV.
All the episodes of both series will be posted online all at once sometime in early 2015, said Ms. Savitt. Two more series will be announced soon.
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