Mark Burnett Produces Online-Only Boxing Event
Toyota and Intel Sign to Sponsor Live Yahoo Webcast
Yahoo's Media Division Moves to Hollywood
Former ABC Entertainment Executive Lloyd Braun Plans Big Changes
Broadband Reaching Critical Mass in U.S.
Study Predicts Major Changes in Online Advertising This Year
Housed on Time Warner's the WB for the past two years, network management passed on a third season after summertime series drew weak ratings. Now, the concert-driven program will get another life online. The revamped program will include on-demand performances, lifestyle segments, interviews and animation in weekly and monthly segments.
British rock band Coldplay will headline the June launch of the online show with an exclusive interview and in-studio performance. Artists Kanye West, Gwen Stefani, former Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan and others have signed on for the season. The site also will feature exclusive on-demand streaming of Mr. West and Ms. Stefani's end-of-summer concerts.
As broadband connections to the Internet become standard in American homes, Yahoo, as well as its rivals MSN and America Online, is competing to establish itself in a field that many view as a potential high-growth area for audiences and advertising and has been looking to boost its original online entertainment offerings. The Internet giant struck a deal with Mark Burnett Productions to air a bout by contestants from boxing reality show The Contender live on the Web. Yahoo also Webcast the full first episode of the Showtime series Fat Actress when it premiered in March.
And Yahoo's new head of media, Lloyd Braun, has told the industry he wanted to give the Internet its own I Love Lucy moment by integrating the capabilities of the Internet with TV content. Several other alliances struck with Mark Burnett Productions, which created Survivor, could move Mr. Braun closer to his goal of making the Internet an original video entertainment platform in its own right.
Other segments on Pepsi Smash include "100 Concerts/100 Days," which follows two music fans with daily updates on their musical fantasy road trip and "Another Side of," which gives an outside-the-studio look at South African heavy metal band Seether.
PepsiCo and Yahoo will back the effort with print, TV and radio advertising and offline events to drive traffic to the site. Yahoo will highlight links throughout its network, including on its main pages, to hype the show.
"Smash on Yahoo Music allows us to have a music presence 365 days a year on a medium that enables viewers to interact with our programming on their terms," Dave Burwick, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Pepsi-Cola North America, said in a statement.
Original content online
"We are excited to collaborate with [Pepsi] to provide a new venue for Smash," Dave Goldberg, vice president and general manager for Yahoo Music, said in a statement. The deal "will expand the scope of the music programming experience and leverage Yahoo's broad reach to bring quality original content to the voracious audience of music fans on the Internet and beyond."