In Strategy Reversal, Yahoo Shutters its Online Video Portal

Yahoo has shut down Yahoo Screen, the company’s four-year-old video portal that had been a major component of chief exec Marissa Mayer’s turnaround strategy. Yahoo took a $42 million write-off on original video content in October, and while Yahoo Screen had yet to compete with video giant YouTube, comScore notes that the portal had about 15 million U.S. visitors in November. The portal had provided easy access to Yahoo’s video content — from digital magazines, concerts and football games to licensed reruns of “Saturday Night Live” and original series such as “Community.”

“Now all that video has been scattered throughout the rest of Yahoo — and good luck finding it,” suggests The New York Times. “A search for ‘Saturday Night Live’ or ‘SNL’ on Yahoo’s own search engine Monday sent you to NBC, YouTube and Hulu — everywhere but Yahoo.”

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According to Yahoo spokesman Arunav Sinha, the company has relocated its video content within its digital magazines. For example, Live Nation concerts can be found on Yahoo Music and “Community” is now housed on Yahoo TV.

Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser suggests the move illustrates Yahoo’s shrinking video ambitions. “He said the company would probably focus more of its efforts on creating cheap videos for its digital magazines, and selling ads around those, than on trying to land big-budget ads to support TV-style content that costs millions of dollars to produce or license,” notes NYT.