This week, Yahoo introduced Yahoo View, a new video service which combines the video library of the company's close partner Hulu with a Tumblr-powered community. Yahoo has been sharing Hulu's video content on its website for over 10 years but all of that content is now moving to Yahoo View. Yahoo's VP Phil Lynch explained that this new project is "a natural extension of Yahoo’s video strategy", adding that he believes Yahoo's audience will enjoy the new service given how its interest in entertainment and the type of content Yahoo offers.
So, what exactly does Yahoo View offer that the regular Hulu free TV catalog doesn't? For starters, tools which allow users to become more immersed in the shows they're watching. The idea of Yahoo View is to give its users a place to discuss their favorite shows with other fans and present them with a set of tools for researching anything related to the series they're watching or are interested in. Yahoo View allows for things like searching for related GIFs made on Tumblr, deleted scenes, and making-of content while watching a specific show. It's basically a robust video hub but also a community. Most importantly, it's free. The app is currently only available on desktops but it probably won't be long before it gets a full-fledged Android app. It's likely desktops were given priority over mobile platforms in the beginning due to the fact that Yahoo's desktop-based business has been doing pretty badly lately and the company's eager to bounce back.
Jess Lee, Yahoo's lifestyle product VP described Yahoo View as the first step towards creating an immersive, community experience of watching TV. The announcement of Yahoo View is also significant because Hulu has just announced that it'll stop supporting a free TV service on its own platform, stating that such an experience no longer aligns with the company's content strategy. The new service shouldn't be compared to the recently discontinued Yahoo Screen, a premium video service which tried to compete with YouTube without much results. Naturally, the company's representatives claim that they've learned a lot from the Yahoo Screen project and while Yahoo View isn't any kind of a spiritual successor to that service, it will hopefully be better because of it.