Yahoo! Considers YouTube-Competitive Service, Could Be Courting Content Creators

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News Posted: Sat, Mar 29 2014 12:03 PM
Technically, Yahoo already has a YouTube-ish video service called Screen (show of hands, who knew that actually existed?), but the company is rumored to be hatching a plan to create a true YouTube competitor.

According to Re/code’s sources, CEO Marissa Mayer wants a much bigger web video presence, and to do so, Yahoo is trying to poach some of YouTube’s biggest stars with the promise of--what else--more money.

For starters, they’d get a better advertising revenue deal than the 45% cut that YouTube takes and/or get guaranteed ad rates for videos, but they’ll also get the ability to sell their own ads and have the opportunity for marketing in prime Internet real estate, such as Yahoo’s homepage.

Yahoo Screen

This YouTube competitor wouldn’t be an open platform, at least not yet; initially it would be tightly curated, by humans, although after the first year it might open up substantially.

Yahoo has a huge task on its hands. YouTube is so entrenched that it’s often the proprietary eponym for “video service”, and it has the benefit of a several-years head start. That’s not to say that there’s no room for a competitor, and Yahoo makes as much sense as any other company, but anything other than a near-perfect video service rollout won’t work. Yahoo stumbled badly when it launched a bug-filled revamped email service, and users aren’t going to tolerate a half-baked video service.
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i never knew that yahoo had a video thing like youtube but if they have to pay popular people to join i think thats very bad advertising

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sevags replied on Sat, Mar 29 2014 1:28 PM

I never knew they had a video service. Competition is normally a good thing but I don't think that is so in this case. I don't really have any complaints about youtube and I don't see how it can be improved. Everyone uses it and I like it being a 1-stop for everything, I wouldn't want to visit multiple video sites. Sorry Yahoo but I won't even be trying your service.

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I knew yahoo had this for awhile but only watched a few vids here and their but haven't tried out the HD portion of it unless its already implemented...But competition is indeed a good thing it can drives companies much more steady paste to battle the flaws each has :x

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Jason replied on Sat, Mar 29 2014 6:32 PM

I didn't know about the Yahoo video either. Honestly I think YouTube is too well established and widely known for Yahoo to actually make a viable push to be competitive with Youtube. I can't really see a lot of huge already established content creators switching over to something right off the bat. Lots of variables to consider then. Like how many of their subs will actually go to Yahoo when most likely most of their video viewing pleasure already comes from Youtube and obviously the add rev would be the biggest incentive for any Youtubers to make a switch. Just have to see what happens, but I don't see Yahoo taking over YouTube

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This could definitely be a good, competition is always good for the consumer. I can only hope this and other sites like Blip and Vimeo get popular enough to where YouTube will actually listen and actually fix the issues the site has.

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Yahoo used to have a video sharing site, called Yahoo Video. They eventually got rid of its video sharing capabilities, and eventually renamed it Yahoo Screen. I think Yahoo Video failed as a video sharing site because people would easily confuse it with their video search engine.

Although I think it would be a good move for Yahoo to create a video sharing site (other than Flickr which is a photo sharing site with video sharing capabilities), I think the plan of poaching YouTube stars could easily backfire. It could result in making room for new YouTube stars to rise up to take their place.  Some YouTube stars might not want to forgo the larger audience for greater revenue.

Even if Yahoo successfully poached the so called YouTube celebrities and their audiences, the video views of so called Youtube celebrities probably would only make up a small percentage of Youtube video views.

Another thing to consider is that despite Youtube's popularity, there are hundreds of competing video sharing sites (see list of video sharing sites). Many video sharing sites aren't very popular but these ones are:

  • Vimeo and Dailymotion (both in's top 100 sites)
  • Youku (Chinese video sharing in's top 100 sites) and Nico Nico Douga (Japanese video sharing in Alexa's top 200 sites)
  • Plus there are photo sharing sites and social networks that also allow video sharing
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