Yahoo! eyeing up move into original video content market?

With original online-only TV series like House of Cards and Arrested Development proving popular with audiences, it now appears that Yahoo! wants to be the latest provider to take advantage.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the California-based corporation is ramping up its ambitions in the world of online video with proposals to acquire original, high-end programming.

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Such a move would take it into direct competition with the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, with the WSJ suggesting that Yahoo! is closing in on the order of four new internet TV series.

Unnamed sources were quoted as stating that Yahoo! is to acquire "10-episode, half-hour comedies with per-episode budgets ranging from $700,000 to a few million dollars".

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It is thought that Yahoo! will be looking to show off its new content to advertisers on 28 April, says the WSJ, with the company holding its annual NewFront ad-sales presentation event.

One person close to the situation told the WSJ that Yahoo! is "looking at the same type of shows that Netflix and Amazon are eyeing".

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In addition to the success that Netflix has had with its original programming, Amazon will hope for the same result after commissioning a new series of Ripper Street after it was axed by the BBC.

And more recently, Xbox Entertainment Studios has partnered with Channel 4 and Kudos to produce a new eight-episode drama series called Humans, which is due to premiere next year.

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But if Yahoo! is serious about entering the market for original online-only programming, it might need to give some consideration to what resolution it opts for as Ultra HD 4K looms on the horizon.

Netflix has already made its Ultra HD 4K service live in the UK with series two of House of Cards, and Amazon Studios has also made clear its plans to go down the 4K route this year.

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by Pete Hayman

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Pete was content editor on What Hi-Fi?, overseeing production and publication of digital content. In creating and curating feature articles for web and print consumption, he provided digital and editorial expertise and support to help reposition What Hi-Fi? as a ‘digital-first’ title; reflecting the contemporary media trends. He is now a senior content strategist.