Yahoo wants its MTV

Yahoo plans to bring online music series to MTV, experimenting again with original programming as it soul searches in the wake of management changes and tough year.

An unnamed Yahoo spokeswoman recently bristled at the notion that the company ever attempted a period of "Hollywood-ization" under former chief executive Terry Semel, a former CEO of Warner Brothers. She argued that Yahoo had never done original programming, despite the fact that their original content division, dubbed "Originals," used to be called "Studios" and was headed by former CBS TV executive David Katz. And, not to mention that Yahoo executives publicly announced in 2006 that they were backing away from TV-style programming.

I don't want to get into a semantic squabble here, but recent moves would seem to indicate that they may be resurrecting that script.

For instance, some of Yahoo's online music content will soon be making its way onto TV screens. Yahoo is producing a series of music performances that will be distributed on MTV's high-definition channel MHD, according to The New York Post.

"A new alliance between Yahoo and MTV marks a rare instance in which material first designed for the Internet is making its way to mainstream television," the paper reported on Thursday.

The series--"Nissan Live Sets"--consists of live performances from seven or eight featured musical artists, who have included Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne. It has been viewed more than 10 million times online so far, according to Yahoo and will kick off September 17 with a new 30-minute episode running each month through May.

Then there's the deal disclosed this summer with Rocket Science Laboratories, the firm behind reality TV shows Temptation Island and Joe Millionaire, to create short-form, interactive video programming that could wind up on TV as well.

Lloyd Braun, who joined Yahoo after serving as chairman of Disney-owned ABC Entertainment, helped spearhead the plans before he left the company late last year, according to Adweek.

"Yahoo Entertainment GM Drew Buckley envisions Rocket Science helping to establish content involving entertainment, music and television," the Adweek report says. "Our goal is to see how we're going to keep consumers for a longer period of time and extend engagement," Buckley said. "Video programming is a piece of that."

In addition, Yahoo is working with Embassy Row, which produces Who Wants to be a Millionaire, on the daily Yahoo online video series The 9, and also has a deal with animation specialist Gotham Group, but it's unclear what that project will be.

 

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