Continuing its aggressive expansion into video content as it restructures its operations, Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) has signed a development deal with former Disney (NYSE: DIS) chief Michael Eisner’s Vuguru production company to create multiple scripted series for the Yahoo Screen video portal.
Announced Monday at South by Southwest, the agreement continues an agressive video content acquisition binge for the Yahoo Screen portal at a time when Yahoo is reportedly set to embark on a restructuring in which layoffs could number into the thousands. The company has also recently inked video content deals with well-known Hollywood producer talent including Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Bill Maher and Ben Stiller.
The deal with Vuguru, however, represents a relationship with an outfit that’s a little more vested in the digital space.
Founded in 2006 by Eisner’s investment firm, The Tornante Company, Vuguru quickly achieved notoriety for producing one of the internet’s first well-backed, advertiser-monetized video series, Prom Queen. with the 12-week unfurling of the youth-driven show’s first 90-second episodes capturing an audience of 15 million users on MySpace back in 2007.
Vuguru’s most recent projects have included Hulu sci-fi series The Booth at the End, starring veteran character actor Xander Berkley, and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” a film adaptation of Marc Wolf’s one-man off-Broadway show, which was acquired by SnagFilms. In 2011, Vuguru also financed and produced seven full-length scripted projects and announced a major partnership with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment to launch a premium YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG) channel called “Stan Lee’s World of Heroes.”
“Through this partnership, we will develop stories that are based on our deep knowledge of what our audience wants, in the context of our leading content verticals, and we will continue to create unique and compelling content experiences for our users,” said Erin McPherson, VP and head of video at Yahoo, in a statement.