March 13, 2012

The development world (not to be confused with the developing world) has the Davos Conference held in exotic and expensive places. The media world’s party to be seen at (for anybody who’s Anybody) is South by Southwest(aka sxsw). The interactive conference has descended on Austin – and later this week, when people return to their offices across the country and the world, industry will be buzzing with new developments .

Here is one announcement out of sxsw that caught my attention:

Yesterday at the “Times are a’Changin: Digital Storytelling Today” panel, Vugaru and Yahoo Inc. executives announced the news of the licensing deal. A Vuguru press release reported the newly created partnership between the video company and Yahoo to create and fund original content. Vugaru CEO Larry Tanz said,

Yahoo! has demonstrated a serious commitment to premium content, and their ability to reach a massive audience world-wide makes them an ideal distribution partner for the upcoming series of Vuguru-financed shows…We look forward to working closely with Yahoo! to develop and produce shows that the Yahoo! audience will love.

The content will be distributed in the US through Yahoo Screen – Yahoo’s answer to television’s migration to the internet.

According to Cynopsis Digital, Vuguru is the latest content creator that’s partnered with Yahoo – others include RedHour, Funny or Die, and Broadway Video. Bu those aren’t the only big names to come on board: Hollywood superstars like Tom Hanks and Robert Redford as well as Bill Maher have also formed agreements.

Erin McPherson, Yahoo!’s VP  and Head of Video said,

Our established portfolio of original programming stands to benefit from the creative input and expertise of our newest partner Vuguru…Through this partnership, we will develop stories that are based on our deep knowledge of what our audience wants, in the context of our leading content verticals and we will continue to create unique and compelling content experiences for our users.

The deal is part of a strategy to bring “the best storytellers to a global audience ” and with 700 million Yahoo users worldwide, that’s quite an audience.

Stay tuned!


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