Execs didn’t use the word but their Newfront presentation to advertisers in NYC left little doubt that Yahoo sees itself as a classy, Conde Nast-like alternative to others on the web who shoot for the lowest common denominator. CEO Marissa Mayer says she’s focusing on mobile, social, native, and video ads. Regarding the future of video “we’re positioned to influence and sometimes invent it….at scale, across devices, every single day,” Yahoo CMO Kathy Savitt told advertisers.
Producer Mike Tollin (Smallville and Arliss) kicked off Yahoo originals introductions by teaming with Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love to pitch Sin City Saints, a series with eight half-hour episodes about a basketball team based in Las Vegas. Director Bryan Gordon (Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Office) will help out with what Tollin called a “behind the scenes comedy” shot with a single camera. Hilarity ensues when a Silicon Valley tech tycoon who wants to own a basketball team buys one, but doesn’t know what to do with it. “The Saints are not good…you could say they’re in a rebuilding mode.” Paul Feig (creator of Freaks And Geeks, and director of Bridesmaids and The Heat) appeared in a video to pitch a futuristic sci-fi comedy Other Space, which also will run for eight, half-hour episodes. Savitt says that Yahoo will introduce other shows later.
More intriguing is Yahoo’s alliance with Live Nation with a plan to create a channel for the company and stream a live concert every day for a year, also making more than 1,200 songs available on demand. “Live music is by far the fastest growing business on a global scale,” Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino says, adding that he has also talked with Yahoo about “bigger visions.” Kellogg’s PopTarts will be one of the first sponsors. ..
Katie Couric showed up to pitch her new series World 3.0 (interviews with interesting people) and Now I Get It (videos explaining the news) and help promote the launch of Yahoo Travel, the company’s latest digital magazine.
The company touted a new deal with comScore to provide ad buyers with data from comScore’s vCE metric that the companies say offers “TV-comparable metrics for video, display and mobile ad campaigns that reach audiences on Yahoo and across the web.” Kraft EVP Jane Hilk showed up to tell advertisers that “this is quite a big deal. It’s huge.”
The show ended with a performance by American Authors.