Yahoo Deep-Sixes The 9

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Yahoo has discontinued production of its viral video roundup show The 9. The show’s final episode aired on Monday. Neeraj Khemlani, Yahoo’s head of programming, downplayed the change when we talked to him late Wednesday, contending The 9 had seen surprising longevity. “Two years in Internet time is All in the Family.”

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Speaking perhaps to the general futility of video clip shows, Khemlani added, “It’s a lot easier just to email somebody a link to a given video.”

Khemlani would not disclose The 9‘s audience size — a move that seems silly in this day and age. He would only say the show had “pretty sizeable” viewership that was “totally dependent on programming” — i.e., not a regular audience. The 9 had long been sponsored by Pepsi.

Khemlani explained the elimination of the show by saying it did not complement an existing Yahoo vertical. Other shows, such as Nissan Live Sets and Fantasy Football Live, have more natural tie-ins. We recently wrote about the company’s new web finance show Tech Ticker. A new entertainment show called Primetime in No Time is “performing like gangbusters,” he said.

Yahoo is also about to launch another original show called Good Morning Yahoo, said Khemlani, who described it at a news roundup of all the “morning watercooler stories.”

Khemlani said the discontinuation of The 9, which was hosted by Maria Sansone, would not involve layoffs, as most of the work on the show was outsourced. He said most of the rest of Yahoo’s original content is produced by in-house teams in Santa Monica, Sunnyvale, Nashville, and New York.

Yahoo’s struggles with the role of original content are nothing new (remember when Lloyd Braun worked there?). Hat tip to Andrew Baron.

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Liz Gannes

Regarding Dennis’ comment, I’ve been following up on this today. It’s not yet clear to me what the crew from The 9 is going to be doing with Google/YouTube, but it’s still true that they got dumped by Yahoo first.

Dennis

Yahoo didn’t discontinue production of The 9. Maria Sansone signed a deal a couple of weeks ago with Google owned YouTube. The contract with Yahoo ran until April 1. Sansone and the entire production team now work for Google. The new yet to be named show will launch in a couple of weeks.

jasonrosenberg

The 9 was a great show and it’s really too bad that it’s gone. The 9 was a fixture on Yahoo’s front page for a time and then it sort of disappeared only to pop up when a big Britney Spears story appeared on Yahoo’s homepage. That could account for a drop in numbers.

The 9 had interaction from its audience with the host giving shout-outs to audience members for their contributions and if the number of 190k daily views is correct, it did a hell of a job. It also attracted some big name guests to the show. The 9 sure beats Yahoo’s “People of the Web” series.

meanguy

76 million visits divided by 400 shows equals 190k viewers per episode. I’d guess a peak around 400k and recent pull around 50-75k resulting in that average over two years.

Ray Beth

The lost of The Nine is a blow to innovative web entertainment. It is sharpe and fun to clink onto very day. Perhaps Yahoo needs a new program director instead. The replacement for The Nine lacks interest and punch to make me return to it again. Boring and Dull

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