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Yahoo Releases Premium Video Service

Sites include . Published on October 10th, 2011. Written by Anthony West.

Yahoo seems to be joining the premium content bandwagon and have just launched their own video portal dedicated to such content.

Dubbed ‘Screen’, the new service will act as an amalgamation of Yahoo present crop of content across all its various entertainment channels. These verticals will be now integrated and led as a service, by 8 new original web shows set for release in the Fall. The 8 shows will focus primarily on women and this according to David Rice, VP of media properties, is the future of Yahoo Video.

In addition to these 8 original shows, Yahoo hopes to stream content in partnership with Hulu and other content providers. This means that the sort of shows that attract paying customers will be at Yahoo’s disposal. Users will also be able to watch ABC news, made possible by the recent partnership between ABC and Yahoo.

Functionally, Screen is easy to use and comes with a theatre-like effect. The actual viewing area is set amidst a dark background and users are able to search effortlessly for their favorite shows and videos from the editorial selection.

Of course, premium content comes with a price tag, but so far there’s been no official word on how much the new batch of content will cost. From the looks of things, Yahoo is piggybacking on the announcement made by Google to deliver premium content through Youtube. Consumers have recently been bombarded with price hikes (Netflix) and proposals to introduce premium content. The whole thing raises the question of whether video is about to stop being free.

Do you think Yahoo’s foray into premium content is signaling the death knell of free video? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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