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Yahoo! to take on Netflix with fresh online content push

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer

Yahoo! is reportedly planning to take on the likes of Netflix and Amazon by acquiring original, high-end, “TV-calibre” video content.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, which cites people briefed on the plans, Yahoo! is close to ordering four web series – 10-episode, half hour comedies, with per-episode budgets ranging from US$700,000 to a few million dollars.

The WSJ claims that the projects under consideration would be helmed by writers or directors with TV experience, and mark a shift from Yahoo!’s previous focus on short-form original web series.

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer reportedly aims to show off TV-quality content at its advertiser-focused NewFront event in April. The firm has not commented on the reports.

Last year, Yahoo! UK launched a new short form animated series, called Yes Ma’am, based on the spoof royal family @Queen Twitter feed, as well as a five-part original series called Boris Johnson’s Guide to London.

Last August, the firm also appointed former Channel 5, ITV and RTL executive Dawn Airey as senior, VP, EMEA.