Yahoo’s Next Attempt At Social Media: Yahoo Current Network; Current-Google Relationship Scaled Down

Current TV, the Al Gore-backed cable channel TV channel, has made its biggest forays into online, couple of weeks after Gore repeated his theme about how Internet is not yet technologically capable of replicating TV’s power. It has tied up with Yahoo to launch an online service within the portal’s main video category, called Yahoo Current Network.
The idea is a combination of user submitted videos plus studio-produced content, much like what happens on the TV channel as well. But this is not Current’s TV’s content repurposed for the Web…it is Web-only content, some of which will make it onto the TV, as explained to me by Jason Zajac, Yahoo’s VP and GM of social media and Joanna Drake Earl, president of Online for Current TV, in an short interview.
This is Yahoo’s umpteenth foray into online video, none of which have been wildly successful. But this seems among the biggest it has done till now…this is the first such branded advertising channel for Yahoo, and others will probably come down the line, Zajac mentioned.
The online network debuts with four channels: Current Buzz, produced by Madeleine Smithberg, the former executive producer of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”; Yahoo! Current Action (action videos); Yahoo! Current Driver (automotive videos); and Yahoo! Current Traveler (travel videos). Best video will also air on the TV channel, its producer will be paid $500. The two hope to have eight channels by end of next year.
As for advertising, fro now it will launch with advertisers from the current Yahoo Video and other Yahoo advertisers, but the two will seek out dedicated advertisers for the new service.
Current has a tie-up with Google, called Google Current, and it will stay on, though with less frequency, according to Joanna. Google Current segment runs on TV in short segments, with topics based on the most popular Google searches, like the Zeitgeist. My guess: it will be phased out, or kept around for showcase purposes (Gore is an advisor to Google).
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