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Yahoo looks to Community to help build an audience for Yahoo Screen

James Careless | July 2, 2014
Yahoo's online video site figures to get a boost from the company's decision to create 13 new episodes of the canceled cult TV show.

At the same time, Yahoo is taking a fast-track approach to building traffic for Yahoo Screen. "Community has an incredibly passionate and loyal fan base who have fought hard to keep this amazing show alive," said Yahoo CMO Kathy Savitt. "The fans spoke and we listened." Translation: They'll come to Yahoo Screen to watch Community, because they're such rabid fans. It's taking a page out of the Netflix playbook; the streaming video service bolstered its original programming by reviving canceled-by-other-network shows such as Arrested Development and The Killing.

Will Yahoo's Community deal translate into increased traffic for Yahoo Screen, and a chance to up its game against Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu? Undoubtedly. Still, leveraging a network-created TV show's popularity is not quite as potent as creating your own hits, as Netflix has done with House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black.

Nevertheless, by bringing Community to Yahoo Screen, Yahoo mas made a bold and gutsy move that has generated real attention and positive buzz for its video site. What remains to be seen is whether Yahoo can translate this goodwill into a long-term audience for Yahoo Screen's other content.


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