There’s news that Yahoo is reversing its web strategy, which was a reversal of a previous strategy. By reversing the reversal, the new reversal may reverse things (see NYTimes).
You see, Yahoo was an early trail-blazer in web video (its DNA was always more media than search), and has gone through a few evolutions.
1) Years ago, the technology company dreamed up plans for elaborate talk shows, sitcoms and other TV-type shows. But the expensive attempts to transport TV entertainment to the Internet “were all disasters,” said Trip Chowdhry, a senior analyst for Global Equities Research.
2) Then it scrapped this model, and has acted as a distributor for audio, video and photographs from other media companies. There were some lower-profile exceptions, like “The 9,” which was reborn as “PopTub” on YouTube).
3) Now the Yahoo producers are identifying their biggest audiences and building short Web shows for those groups of people. Instead of producing TV, Yahoo now recaps TV in a daily show called “Primetime in No Time.” Yahoo says the two- to five-minute-long show has an average of 400,000 daily streams, making it one of the most popular recurring series made for the Web. Can web video about TV survive, and can it be done by a third party? We’ll see
So I jest about this third era being a reversal of a reversal, because Yahoo is smart to produce shows based on the interests of large audiences (as evidenced by their consumption of non-video content about a particular subject). If people like stamp collecting, they’re going to eventually want videos featuring their favorite stamps or, um, celebrity collectors. And we marketers were kinda trained to find an audience need/interest before creating a product. We marketers would rather sponsor someone that already has an audience, rather than someone with great “promise” that may some day attract an audience.
That’s so basic even a marketer can figure it out.