While it might be silly to believe Terry Semel, the CEO of Yahoo, read my Open Letter from February 21, it sure appears like he has seen the light. As reported today by Saul Hansell for New York Times, Yahoo is scaling back efforts to create originally produced content for the web.
Instead, according to Lloyd Braun, the former chairman of ABC Entertainment who Semel hired nearly 18 months ago to develop and implement the content strategy for the Search and Directory pioneer, the group will “shift focus from original shows to content from other media companies and users”.
Braun is quoted in the article as saying he “didn’t fully appreciate what success in this medium is really going to look like”. An honorable statement considering no one has been able to predict the goliath sea change brought on by the world wide web beginning in 1994.
Yet recognizing there are now thousands of content providers at the professional and amateur levels creating and or re-releasing quality content for online and wireless delivery is critical and necessary for Yahoo to believe if it is going to successfully leverage the monumentally successful brand.
Now that the strategy has been clearly stated, the test becomes how effectively Yahoo can execute as a programmer and distributor. No longer a threat to the networks and studios, rather an ally, my money says Yahoo is on the right track to succeed.