Marissa Mayer Explains Yahoo’s New Video Strategy

Speaking at Disrupt New York, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer explained the strategy behind the company’s new foray into producing original television content.

“Can you tell me what Yahoo is?” TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington asked, bringing up the old question of whether Yahoo is a tech or media company.

Mayer argued that this dichotomy doesn’t matter, and that Yahoo needs to focus on building products that people love and delivering value. When Arrington mentioned Yahoo’s new “Netflix-style” video content, Mayer lit up, quickly discussing two new video series.

Mayer said the video budget will be relatively stable year to year, and that the company is just “using it in a different way.”

“Last year we produced 86 different series,” Mayer said. “None of whom you’ve ever heard about because it was sort of a failed branding exercise.”

The company will now have fewer series, which will be branded and focused around its new Digital Magazines, and two new shows, called “Other Space” and “Sin City Saints.”

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“Now we’re doing fewer things that are bigger and have a slightly larger chance of success,” Mayer said.

Starting on July 1, Yahoo will also be working with Live Nation to stream a live concert every day for a year.