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

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.