Yahoo! spins up DVD destination

Site hopes for studio pacts, e-commerce oportunities

Responding to recently conducted research suggesting that 6.8 million of its users have purchased DVDs, Internet portal giant Yahoo! will launch a significantly expanded DVD Web destination Tuesday.

The company says that the 6.8 million users rep 42% of all DVD buyers.

Woven into Yahoo! Movies, the newly christened Yahoo! DVD hopes to strike advertising sponsorship deals with the major studios, as well as e-commerce opportunities conducted through Yahoo! That’s the business model already in place at Yahoo! Movies, which has ongoing relationships with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Video and Buena Vista Home Entertainment to promote DVDs.

Yahoo! DVD will also feature DVD release schedules, as well as exclusive clips from the bonus material of upcoming DVD releases as provided by the studios.

Extras exhibition

Clips of DVD extras from Universal’s “The Scorpion King,” and Buena Vista’s “Monsters, Inc.” and “Beauty and the Beast” will be available on the Yahoo! portal Tuesday.

Just as Yahoo! Movies attracts fans with movie news, reviews and other movie-related content, then leverages that traffic with e-commerce and promotional partnerships with the major studios, Yahoo! DVD will feature a blend of daily DVD news updates and opinionated reviews, said Yahoo! Movies & TV senior director Doug Hirsch. Much of that will be obtained through a new one-year content licensing agreement signed with San Jose-based InterActual Technologies — the company that operates popular DVD fan site According to Todd Collart, CEO of InterActual, garners traffic in the range of 500,000 users per month.

“With the size of the DVD marketplace rapidly increasing, studios are spending more of their marketing dollars on it,” said Hirsch, explaining the rationale for breaking out Yahoo! Movies’ DVD coverage into a stand-alone site.

(Daniel Frankel is a reporter for Daily Variety sister publication Video Business.)

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