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Yahoo to Launch TechTicker : Tech Stock Video Program

Yahoo Finance is arguably one of the most widely used and successful financial websites. Access to streaming quotes, SEC filings, company data, and more make it a very helpful place to visit when you want to get an overall look at a company’s finances. For those who invest in, or even just follow, the technology sector stocks and companies, Yahoo’s offerings about to get even better. According to the New York Times, Yahoo is now finalizing a new online program called TechTicker, that will report exclusively on technology stocks.

As a part of TechTicker, Yahoo will offer daily streaming-video segments, blog posts, and some live coverage of breaking news. In this new venture, Yahoo will be facing some tough competition, at least in terms of the streaming videos. Their direct competitors will include the likes of CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and the Fox Business Network.

TechTicker seems to be a natural extension of the Yahoo Finance services that they already provide, and with that extremely large audience, there is no doubt that it will get interest from at least their regulars. But the question is, will TechTicker be able to distinguish themselves enough for the non-Yahoo Finance investors to give them a look? Or will that audience happily go about their business, sticking to the sites and sources that they already to know? I think it’s still a bit too early to say, although others, such as Mike McGuire, a media analyst with Gartner Inc., believe that it might a difficult task:

“If they can get an audience aggregated around the site, it can provide an off-ramp to other Yahoo properties. But we have a ton of stuff that’s available on TV and any number of blogs and Web sites that provide close to real-time accounts, so this will be a real challenge for Yahoo.”

Yahoo has made the foray into streaming-video finance before, with the launch of FinanceVision in 2000. However, it was met with very little success, and subsequently shut down two years later. This time around, however, I think Yahoo has a much better shot at making it work. For one, high-speed internet is more prevalent and readily available than it was seven years ago during their first venture. Online video, thanks to high-speed availability, is finally coming into its own. Video content has increased in popularity and usage over the past couple of years, with 2007 being so far the biggest year for online videos. TechTicker might just work this time.

This addition to Yahoo’s line-up of ever-expanding services continues their trend of moving into content areas, and looking to things beyond just search to expand their online media empire. It is also what sets them apart from Google, who tend to stick more closely to their search and advertising oriented roots.
An exact date of launch has not yet been revealed, and Yahoo is still working on lining up the program’s online staff. Reportedly, those in consideration for the program include Sarah Lacy (Business Week columnist), Paul Kedrosky (CNBC analyst), and Henry Blodget (editor-in-chief of Silicon Alley Insider).

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