Yahoo to focus on video content

Yahoo will look to host more online video shows, similar to its Premier League highlights programmes, as it looks to switch focus to becoming a content provider.

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The internet company is speaking to brands and producers about incorporating further advertiser funded videos on the Yahoo site, such as how-to beauty and lifestyle videos.

James Wildman, Yahoo’s UK managing director, says the company is to concentrate on officially produced content rather than user generated video – like rival Google’s YouTube – because it is more effective in boosting user engagement with advertisements.

Yahoo secured its first professional video content deal last year with the Barclays Premier League last year to broadcast online highlights. Brands including Adidas, BT and Heineken were the first to run ads alongside the football content.

Wildman says: “We are incredibly well placed because of our trust, brand advocacy, heritage and scale of our proposition to work in partnership with producers to distribute their content.”

He adds that the internet industry is increasing moving towards an “ultra-targeted TV model” but with the advantages of interactivity and engagement.

The number of online video views has increased by 259% in three years, according to comScore.

Yahoo is also encouraging its advertisers to use short form video content on its site in order to better engage with audiences.

Patrick Hourihan, head of UK research at Yahoo says: “Short form content – clips under 5 minutes – are being consumed by more than 25 million users every month. What we are seeing is the genuine evolution from the internet user to the internet viewer.”

Hourihan recommends that 22 seconds is the ideal length of time to view an advert before a video clip and that the optimum duration for standalone video advertising is 2 minutes – four times the average TV spot length.

Yahoo is also adapting its video player for more seamless use on Android and Apple devices.

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