Yahoo’s venture into original streaming content has come to an end, with the company pulling the plug on its video platform, Yahoo Screen.
Despite offering a mix of popular syndicated clips and original content — including the re-launch of cult comedy show Community and licensed snippets of Saturday Night Live and NFL games — Yahoo Screen has always lagged behind bigger rivals such as Netflix and Amazon.
Unfortunately, Yahoo’s major investment in original productions didn’t have the same payoff seen by its popular competitors. Earlier this year Yahoo Screen streamed two original shows, Sin City Saints and Other Space, marking a shift away from the short webisode format of its content up until that point.
It also failed to capitalize on its main headliner, Community, a show with a devoted fan base, whose membership Yahoo hoped would make the move to its service. Season six of Dan Harmon’s college campus comedy made its debut on Yahoo Screen in March.
The bad news came in October when Yahoo revealed it had witnessed a $42 million loss on its original programming, having failed to monetize the ventures. The numbers announced during its third quarter earnings call signaled the death knell for Yahoo Screen.
The plan for the now-defunct service is to distribute its content to other segments of the Yahoo family of digital sites. Streamed concerts from Yahoo Screen’s Live Nation channel, for example, will now be available on Yahoo Music. Yahoo’s originals, on the other hand, will be available in the TV section of the site.
“At Yahoo, we’re constantly reviewing and iterating on our products as we strive to create the best user experience,” a Yahoo spokesperson told Variety. “With that in mind, video content from Yahoo as well as our partners has been transitioned from Yahoo Screen to our Digital Magazine properties so users can discover complementary content in one place.”
Despite investing a reported six-figures per episode on some of its output, Yahoo failed to gain a foothold in what is now a multi-billion dollar streaming industry. Meanwhile, Netflix and Amazon’s acclaimed mix of films and TV shows has gone from strength to strength, garnering blockbuster viewership figures and awards nominations.
With rumors swirling around the fate of Yahoo’s core Web business, Yahoo Screen’s demise is further evidence that the company may undergo further restructuring.
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