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The latest example of Yahoo positioning itself to become more like Google is the company’s possible plan to launch its own streaming video service to compete with YouTube.

CEO Marissa Mayer is apparently mulling over the idea of Yahoo building its own YouTube, according to a Re/code report that cites an unnamed source familiar with the plans. The source also said Yahoo is also reaching out to big YouTube creators in hopes of poaching talent away from the world’s top video site.

If true, the move wouldn’t be entirely surprising. Yahoo tenaciously tried and failed to purchase streaming video service Dailymotion for an estimated $300 million last year, with the goal of taking on YouTube. The company also signed an exclusive deal to run Saturday Night Live content and recently beefed up its media talent by hiring broadcast news star Katie Couric.

Yahoo wants to become a bigger player in video, and creating a platform for user-generated content is a decent start. Part of the motivation for the company’s video plans undoubtedly have to do with the higher level of ad revenue video ads bring in (which is a big reason why rival AOL has focused on video as a huge part of its own business strategy).

If Yahoo is indeed building its own streaming video platform, it’ll have an opportunity to improve where Google has failed — more specifically, the failure by Google to help its top YouTube creators generate enough revenue to grow as viable businesses.

According to Re/code’s sources, that’s exactly what Yahoo is trying to do in its effort to poach YouTube creators. The company is said to be offering incentives like a flashy marketing campaign, a greater share of ad revenue on videos, and the capability to use Yahoo’s ad platform to cut separate advertising deals. There’s also the incentive of promoting those YouTube creators’ work on Yahoo’s homepage.

VentureBeat is reaching out to Yahoo for further information about its plans to launch a video platform and will update this post with any new information.


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