Since Yahoo partnered with Microsoft to get itself out of the search business, the aging-search-giant-but-still-traffic-behemoth is more focused on creating original content for its over 160 million monthly visitors.
The Yahoo Web Series formula has been relatively straightforward. Take a popular vertical, create a low-cost but well-produced show for said vertical, find low-cost but talented individuals to host said show, and get massive amounts of views by throwing around links on your highly trafficked homepage. Wash, rinse, repeat.
That’s how Yahoo launched a handful of its original web series – like TV in a Flash, What’s so Funny?, Spotlight to Night Light, and the uber-successful Primetime in No Time. More recent titles - like Who Knew?, TechTicker, and Sports Minute – came out of its recent production partnership with huge advertising holding company WPP‘s Group M Entertainment, but follow the same basic format.
Now, Yahoo is changing up their formula and throwing some celebrity in the mix.
Ben Stiller has been tapped to create, direct, and produce a web series starring his parents commenting on current news items. Stiller’s become increasingly interested and involved in new media over the past year. He’s used YouTube and Twitter to great effect in marketing his Red Hour Films production company and, more importantly, helping to do good things for people around the world.
Set to launch before the end of the year, the unnamed web-only show will feature Jerry Stiller (famous for playing Frank Costanza on Seinfeld) and Anne Meara (who together were apparently quite the comedy duo) and will presumably be hysterical.