Seven partners with Yahoo on digital content portal

Seven partners with Yahoo on digital content portal

In a move destined to boost the availability of locally produced digital content, search engine behemoth, Yahoo, has joined forces with the Seven Network to launch a joint venture and digital entertainment portal, Yahoo7.

The new venture will draw on repurposed content from programs such as Sunrise, Today Tonight and Seven News bulletins, as well as content from Pacific Magazines publications such as New Idea, Better Homes and Gardens and Men's Health.

Newly appointed Yahoo7 chairman, John Marcom, said the new portal would extend digital content provision in the Australian market, and provide advertisers with unprecedented reach across three different platforms.

"The partnership will allow us to plug directly into content created by the Seven Network, and combine that with Yahoo's products which are able to turn that content into a media rich offering," he said. "Corporate obstacles will also be moved out of the way for advertisers who want to work across a number of different media."

Marcom said repurposed material from the Seven Network would be gradually released in a segmented format, as the newly formed entity identified the most appropriate approach to Web-based broadcasting.

"An hour program streamed live isn't the right model for the Internet, streamed segmented content topped with an add is the most likely format, but also we expect consumers to do more things with the digital format, allowing for more tailored advertising models which can really target the right audience," he said.

At the Yahoo7 launch, neither Marcom nor Seven Networks commercial director, Ryan Stokes, would provide details as to when popular television series such as Desperate Housewives might become available in digital downloads. Nonetheless, a spokesperson for the Seven Network later indicated that both companies were currently working toward creating broadcast rights agreements which covered digital delivery systems, while keeping an eye on the uptake of digital entertainment technology.

"It is a real chicken-and-egg problem, because we need to create programming which matches the available technology," the Network Seven spokesperson said. "The first steps are being made to repurpose television programming for Internet delivery, following its broadcasts on free-to-air TV." "Throughout 2006 we will continue to focus on making locally produced program segments available through the Internet, because the Internet is the way forward for television programming."

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