Once upon a time, Yahoo looked poised to re-invent entertainment on the Internet, what with Hollywood veteran Terry Semel at the helm.  Then came YouTube and Yahoo’s abysmal video offering, which lacked just about everything.  Yahoo never really made a dent in the space, but their new video platform, and the announcement their acquisition of Maven Networks, might signal a new big-time entrant to the online video world.  

From Maven’s Blog:

“The combination of Maven Networks with Yahoo!’s own vast technology resources, deep industry relationships, and huge global audience will deliver an unrivaled video publishing, syndication and advertising solution.”

I’m not sure if Yahoo’s new video effort is directly related the the acquisition of Maven, but it looks to be a big step in the right direction.  The new video player is (finally) easily embeddable with seamless full-screen toggle and an overall elegant interface, but the cornerstone of Yahoo’s new video strategy seems to be exclusive, populist content.  Nothing drives traffic better.

Yahoo’s video strategy won’t have a major impact on the market for independent producers–though being featured by Yahoo is certainly a valuable promotional tool — but this will likely impact the way traditional media convert their assets for the web.  Yahoo seems to be positioning itself to manage and distribute online video for major media companies, a strategy that’s occurred to at least a few others…

Hulu? Brightcove? YouTube? Yahoo?  How’s this gonna shake out?

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