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Yahoo is launching a YouTube competitor this summer

Image via Shuttershock/Ken Wolter

Image via Shuttershock/Ken Wolter

As if there weren’t already enough cat videos and makeup tutorials on the Web, new reports suggest that Yahoo will finally launch its long-awaited video-streaming service. Competitor YouTube and other companies have reportedly given Yahoo a lot of pushback, delaying the service’s debut for months. Now, it seems that the contract issues have finally been resolved and it’s all systems go for Yahoo’s video venture.

According to Ad Age, Yahoo is in talks with several video producers, creators, and advertisers to get the new platform off the ground later this summer. Previously, Yahoo had hoped to reveal its new service to advertisers as early as April, but disputed contracts prevented a spring launch. Most of the contract issues revolved around content ownership. Many video creators were concerned about losing the rights to their videos once they added them to Yahoo’s channel. There was also some worry over users’ access to offline downloads of some videos. Several producers felt that Yahoo did not have a cohesive business plan either and were confused by the advertising strategy.

In the past few months, Yahoo appears to have gone to great lengths to improve its relationships with content creators. To truly combat YouTube, Yahoo needed to make its platform more appealing a creator-friendly. According to those familiar with the company’s plans, Yahoo will offer fixed ad rates and share revenue generously with video producers. YouTube always takes 45 percent of all revenue, which has long been a point of contention with its users. The ad rates will supposedly be 50 to 100 percent higher than those offered by YouTube, so the creators will get more out of the partnership.

Additionally, Yahoo won’t ask for exclusivity from its clients. Those who post to Yahoo’s video-streaming service can also upload videos to YouTube, if they so choose. All video producers will be able to make their own channels and playlists, just like on YouTube. Viewers can embed Yahoo videos and share them on Yahoo platforms such as Tumblr and the home page.

Alongside user-generated content, Yahoo plans to introduce its own full-length TV series on the site. Like Netflix and Hulu before it, Yahoo hopes that its original series will take off and distinguish the service from YouTube and other competitors. It’s a grand ambition and one that Yahoo believes it can realize. It will be interesting to see how it all comes together and if the service an rival YouTube or not.

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