Yahoo and Blip Ink Deal to Bolster Each Other's Web Video Offerings
Despite the revolving door at the executive level, Yahoo continues to strike deals to build out its video programming. The latest is a partnership with Blip (formerly Blip.tv), the seven-year-old startup that distributes and monetizes original web series for independent web-video producers.
With the partnership, Yahoo will promote 13 shows that Blip has distribution rights to on Yahoo Screen. Blip will distribute 16 Yahoo video series, including the ambitious news documentary series "Remake America," mainly on its destination site Blip.tv. As is the norm with these types of deals, the companies will share the ad revenue resulting from selling ads for each other's shows. For Yahoo, the deal is mainly about getting access to more low-cost original web video that it can sell to advertisers at premium rates.
"We're still continuing to grow our leadership in original content and this is a furthering of that strategy," said Erin McPherson, VP and head of video at Yahoo.
For Blip, getting its episodic web series in front of Yahoo's giant audience was obviously attractive.
"Unlike a lot of people, we're not exclusively focused on YouTube," said Blip CEO Kelly Day, who was hired in March. "We believe in finding audiences wherever they are."
The deal has been in the works for some time now, with the initial talks actually predating Ms. Day's arrival at Blip, and of course the leadership changes at Yahoo.
Blip is now seven years old and has raised about $24 million in venture funding. The company has long focused on helping web-video creators distribute their series around the web and sell ads for them. Then, last year, the company launched a redesigned website in the hopes of being a destination for web video series as well. Revenue was reportedly $10 million last year. The last year has also seen two of the company's co-founders -- CEO Mike Hudack and Dina Kaplan -- leave the company.
Now, Blip is also looking to create its own programming in-house. In April, the company started having conversations with sponsors about underwriting a bunch of different web series ideas being incubated within the newly created Blip Studios. Ms. Day, a former Discovery Communications exec, said Blip will soon announce that it has closed its first sponsorship deal for one of these new web series. Blip will also soon be launching a YouTube channel with web-video creators who the company recently signed exclusive deals with, she said.
This Yahoo cooking show from former "Top Chef" contestant Fabio Viviani is one of the 16 Yahoo series that will now be shown on Blip.tv.