There are 62 video sharing sites worldwide at the moment, and of course the largest by far is YouTube, which now garners more than 17% of all Internet traffic. That’s why you have to wonder why a company would even think about launching a new platform in this already crowded field dominated by an 8,000 pound gorilla.
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Yahoo sees it differently however, as it’s been reported by AdAge that the company plans to launch a new video service geared to compete directly with YouTube. The company has apparently been approaching many popular YouTube creators, dangling promises of larger revenue splits in an effort to launch with some significant names and content.
Yahoo has wanted to enter into the video business for some time, as evidenced by last year’s unsuccessful campaign to acquire DailyMotion and CEO Marrissa Mayer’s numerous statements that she felt the company needed to increase its video presence in order to succeed.
Like on YouTube, content creators can reportedly start their own channel, and will have access to a dashboard that enables them to publish across all Yahoo assets like the home page (still one of the most visited sites on the Web) and its recently acquired Tumblr microblogging site. The company isn’t requiring an exclusive deal though, as anyone with a Yahoo channel can also simultaneously post on YouTube or any other video platform as well.
There is a big potential stumbling block, however, in that Yahoo’s current agreement with content creators reportedly requires that the company be given a perpetual license to any videos that are shared on Tumblr, which effectively allows Yahoo to control the video’s ownership rights as a result. One would assume that this language will be stricken from the final agreement before the service is launched, since most veteran content creators would simply ignore the service if it remained as is, but that’s not assured, given Yahoo’s history. If that’s the case, it would be an enormous blunder before the service even got out of the box.
While it’s nice to have another service in the online video mix, the prediction here is not to expect a whole lot from Yahoo Video, or whatever it may end up being called. The company has a long history of screwing up good ideas and acquisitions, so the odds are favorable that it will happen again.