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Yahoo! shutters their streaming video service. Yahoo! had a streaming video service?

Yahoo’s streaming service, Yahoo! Screen, is giving up after a little over two years. Never heard of it? Us either. But it does speak to the power of Netflix.

Adios, Yahoo! Screen (we hardly knew ye)

Yahoo has shut down their digital video hub, Yahoo Screen. Yahoo launched Yahoo Screen in 2013, with over 1,000 hours of content. Haven’t heard of Yahoo Screen? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

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Variety was the first to publish the news of Yahoo! Screen’s demise.

An effort to consolidate programming

Digital video was just another avenue for president/CEO Marissa Mayer, who has been trying to steer the struggling Internet company to success. Under her guidance, Yahoo! has sought to compete with digital video outfits such as Netflix and YouTube.

Launched over two years ago, Yahoo! Screen’s initial purpose was to unite Yahoo’s many original and syndicated programming under one roof. It was home to everything from streaming overseas NFL games to Katie Couric’s daily news reports. The service also offered syndicated programming such as Saturday Night Live, as well as Yahoo’s original series Sin City Saints and Other Space. Yahoo! even picked up and revived cancelled NBC sitcom Community.

Redistributing content

Yahoo! Screen has proved pricey. Last October, the tech giant took a $42 million write-down on their ambitious originals initiative.

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Despite their efforts, Yahoo! Screen’s big ambitions just couldn’t be realized. However, that doesn’t mean the company is abandoning its video properties. The plan now is to reallocate them from Yahoo! Screen to different places within the Yahoo! ecosystem, where similar content can sit side by side. According to a statement from Yahoo!, “We’re constantly reviewing and iterating on our products as we strive to create the best user experience. With that in mind, video content from Yahoo! as well as our partners has been transitioned from Yahoo! Screen to our Digital Magazine properties so users can discover complementary content in one place.”

Not the first, won’t be the last

Yahoo! isn’t the first company to have a failed foray into digital video. Other streaming services have come and gone. Target tried to break into the market with their service Target Ticket.

But after failing to capture viewership, they closed shop after only around 15 months. Verizon and Redbox had their own failed attempt with Redbox Instant, which only lasted a little over a year. Samsung scrapped their movie download store in the middle of 2014. While Samsung says it’s working on a new and improved service, the fact still remains that streaming has a very tenuous run for brands.

#RIPYahooScreen

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Written By

Nichole earned a Master's in Sociology from Texas State University and has publications in peer-reviewed journals. She has spent her career in tech and advertising. Her writing interests include the intersection of tech and society. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Communication and Media Studies at Murdoch University.

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