Yahoo! yesterday announced a new subscription service, Yahoo! Platinum, an online video and audio service featuring branded programming from entertainment, sports and news providers for both broadband and narrowband consumers.
The new service puts it head to head with streaming video provider Real Networks.
The new subscription service provides video and audio content from the likes of CBS’s Survivor, Fox’s American Idol, NASCAR.com, the American Basketball Championship, ABC News, CBS MarketWatch and the Weather Channel, among other providers. In coming weeks Yahoo! Platinum plans to add programming from CNBC Dow Jones Business Video and National Geographic.
“With the significant increase in broadband adoption over the last two years, more consumers are turning to the internet for their entertainment and information needs,” said Jim Moloshok, senior vice-president of media, entertainment, information and finance at the company. “Yahoo! Platinum is designed to deliver an entertainment experience that is unmatched in quality and ease of use, incorporating exclusive content from the best brands consumers already turn to offline,” he added.
At launch, for US$9.95 per month, Yahoo! Platinum programming includes CBS Survivor Insider, Fox’s ‘American Idol‘, ABC News, CBS MarketWatch and the Weather Channel amongst other audio and video. Additionally, the Yahoo! Platinum service includes live video coverage of two games from the first two days of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, along with select daily features and highlights.
For US$16.95 per month, Yahoo! Platinum SportsPak features all 56 games from CBS Sports coverage of the first and second rounds and regional semi-finals of the 2003 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
Yahoo!’s new offering will be in direct competition with Real Network’s RealOne SuperPass service, which offers a similar level of programming to subscribers. Although Real Networks has an established reputation in this arena, Yahoo! executives will be banking on the company’s brand recognition as a big name web portal to gain a competitive advantage.
By Dick O’Brien