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May iPad

Yahoo! aims to rival TV for ads

PROPAGANDA FACTORY: Yahoo! Studio is ramping up its online video efforts as it attempts to challenge television broadcasters for advertising business through big user figures and greater flexibility.

Speaking at C21’s Propaganda Factory conference at Bafta in London today, Krane Jeffrey, the head of Yahoo! Studio, told delegates that online video was the company’s main focus for the next 12 months.

He said the brands could benefit from the greater flexibility of online video and the impressive audience figures Yahoo! could attract.

The company, which yesterday set the launch date stateside for Tom Hanks web series Electric City, currently boasts 712 million unique users a month worldwide and 7.2 million UK users every day. It shows more than 20 billion display ads every day.

Jeffrey used the example of Nokia’s sponsorship of parenting series Bumps, Babies and Beyond, hosted by Mylene Klass, on Yahoo! as a notable success story.

He said: “I like comparing it to something like TV sponsorship. If you sponsor a show on TV the broadcaster might move it or it might can the show, and under the rules of [UK media regulator] Ofcom, you don’t have any comeback on that.

“We did something with Mylene Klass last year and Nokia sponsored it. They gave us a brief about the time they wanted the show to start, competitions to bridge the gap before we could get on air because of the production time, and we catered to all of that.

“When you run a show on TV you don’t know what sort of audience you’re going to get, whereas we start with ‘What do you need the audience to be?’ and we’ll deliver it.

“Like many, online video is a big play for us. We’re not alone in that. In digital as a whole it’s becoming more and more important, and dual screens are going to fuel that. But that’s the focus for us going forward.”

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