Yahoo Marissa Mayer

Yahoo expands digital video roster with 18 new series

Simon Cowell, Naomi Campbell and Michelle Rodriguez are some of the celebrities greenlighted for the new shows.
April 28, 2015

NEW YORK – With explosive electronica spun by celebrity DJ Steve Aoki, flashy cameos by the likes of Naomi Campbell, Katie Couric and Michelle Rodriguez, all smoothly drawn together by the evening’s host, comic Joel McHale, Yahoo pulled out the stops Monday in its bid to secure advertising dollars to its growing roster of digital video programming.

The California tech giant closed day one of NewFronts 2015 by announcing 18 new digital series spanning news, fashion and music, as well as original scripted content by seasoned television writers, directors and producers.

“Over the last year we’ve made strategic investments in our three digital content pillars, Yahoo Live, Yahoo Digital Magazines and Yahoo Originals,”said Kathy Savitt, CMO and head of media for Yahoo. “We’re pleased to be extending those investments into premium video content offerings to guide our users to the best, most relevant content and the world’s best storytellers to our global audience.”

Savitt was joined onstage by several Yahoo executives, including CEO Marissa Mayer (pictured), as they laid out the company’s business case to ad buyers, media, agencies and brand representatives who packed Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.

“We know advertisers want to tap into premium video content that connects them with engaged audiences across devices, and they also want to buy video ads programmatically,”said Lisa Utzschneider, SVP, sales, Americas. “With our new slate of digital video programming and a wide variety of video ad formats and buying options, we’re helping advertisers meet business objectives—whether they want to buy a show, buy a channel or buy an audience segment.”

The selection of the new Yahoo programming includes: Ultimate DJ, a global Electronic Music competition-style live series executive produced by Simon Cowell, Patrick Moxey, Hamish Hamilton, Ian Stewart, and Kelly Belldegrun; a renewed partnership for a second year with Live Nation to live stream concerts with the addition of five of the biggest outdoor festivals; The Pursuit, a new scripted original long-form series from Scott Stuber and Beth McCarthy Miller; and various new programs from Yahoo’s Digital Magazines, including I Am Naomi, starring model turned executive producer Naomi Campbell, and Riding Shotgun with Michelle Rodriguez, starring actor and executive producer Michelle Rodriguez; among others.

Earlier in the day, NewFront audiences heard from BuzzFeed and the New York Times, while Bloomberg Media joined the NewFront line-up for the first time this year. The New York-based media outlet, which specializes in business stories and analytics, unveiled four new digital shows for download and the introduction of Responsive.TV this fall. In partnership with Stinkdigital, the new technology allows viewers easy and flexible access to video content.

While most digital companies are chasing a primarily Millennial audience, Bloomberg aimed its pitch directly at brands seeking access to its high-powered, high-income global audience.

In a world where people “think they can solve complex problems in 140 characters,” Mike Bloomberg, company founder, noted Bloomberg has 325,000 subscribers who each pay $22,000 a year to access content across all its platforms.

“They care what they get for their money and they watch very attentively,” Bloomberg said.

Follow @darahhansen for the latest in digital content live from #NewFront2015

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