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Inside the Broadband Video Wars

Yahoo Expands News Video With CNN and ABC Feeds

Move Comes as AP Prepares to Launch Its Own Online Video News Network

By Published on . 0

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Upping the ante in the increasingly competitive broadband video news business, Yahoo is adding daily feeds from CNN.com and ABC News to augment the video news it already offers from The Associated Press and Reuters.

Yahoo, which has integrated video throughout its broad news offerings, will now offer daily video from AP, Reuters, ABC and CNN.
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"Video content is becoming an increasingly important component of the online news experience for Yahoo News users," Scott Moore, vice president of Yahoo content operations, said in a statement.

AP's video initiative
The move comes barely two weeks after AP announced its own plans to launch an online video news network in the third quarter. AP plans to contract with an as yet unnamed third-party company to sell ads into the online network on a national basis. The plan is aimed at helping its members -- mainly newspaper publishers -- to compete in the online video news realm. The AP's product would carry each newspaper's own brand, but would be part of a network.

When asked if the expansion of Yahoo's video offering and AP's own plans were at odds, Jane Seagrave, vice president and director of new media markets at AP, said: "We have a nonexclusive deal with Yahoo. ... We're delighted to see this. We don't regard this as competition, simply proof that the demand is there."

Undermining newspapers
Yahoo is the largest of the many portals that are undermining the traditional newspaper print business by enabling vast numbers of consumers to get up-to-the-minute text and video news online whenever they want it.

A Yahoo spokesman said Yahoo's editorial strategy is to enable its editors to offer video from all four providers or select the best video to use for a particular story. The spokesman suggested that an interview from ABC News' Good Morning America might be the most appropriate video for a particular story, or that one provider might offer better images than another. When Yahoo links to a story or video being served from one of its provider sites, it can generate a huge surge in traffic for that site.

AP's Yahoo deal
When asked whether AP was renegotiating its deal with Yahoo in the light of the portal's new strategy, Ms. Seagrave said: "I won't tell you about any particular deal, but it is worth saying that many, if not all, of our commercial licensing deals include some revenue sharing and as we introduce new types of content we amend certain things." AP also provides news text to Yahoo.

The Yahoo deals are important for both CNN and ABC News, which are both trying to rapidly expand their news audience reach online. Within the last 12 months video has become one of the key battlegrounds for media companies seeking to establish themselves solidly in a potentially lucrative new area of online audience interest and advertising.

CBS News revamp
CBS News recently announced a total revamp of its news site, offering round-the-clock online reporting and broadband video reports. CNN also increased the amount of free news video it offers from its Web site.

Marketers, meanwhile, are showing increasing interest in the potential of TV-like commercials inserted into broadband video news programming. The new Yahoo video feeds from CNN.com and ABC News will be advertising-supported.

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