Reports are circulating that Yahoo is looking to launch a video site that would go up against Google’s behemoth YouTube.
The rumors largely stem from a Re/Code report late last week that cited anonymous sources saying Yahoo is looking to not only launch a YouTube competitor in the next few months but also is trying to pluck some of the video-sharing site’s stars and favorite networks.
A Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.
However, Yahoo, and its CEO Marissa Mayer, have been trying to gain some traction in the online world, pulling the company back to the top where it started years ago. Yahoo was once an Internet pioneer but the years, and competitors like Google and Facebook, pushed the company back into the shadows.
Mayer, who was a top executive at Google before coming to Yahoo, wants to turn that slide around. Grabbing some of the audience from YouTube would be a huge step in making that happen.
“If Yahoo wants to be at the center of people’s entertainment, they need a video service,” said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. “YouTube is a free-for-all video service from cat videos to trailers to real content. Yahoo has a chance to provide less, but better content.”
Earlier this month, Mayer, speaking at the annual 4As conference, said she is focusing the company’s time and money on search, mail, mobile, social media and video.
There have been earlier signs that Yahoo wants to step up its presence in video. Last May, reports circulated that Yahoo was in talks to acquire Hulu, a video site known for streaming TV shows and movies, for as much as $800 million. The purchase never came through as Hulu’s owners canceled plans to sell the company.