March 13, 2000 6:45 AM PST

Yahoo launches finance programming channel

Yahoo today launched a new Web-based broadcast channel to showcase financial news programming, including content it will produce in-house.

The product, called "Yahoo FinanceVision," comes as a software download that incorporates video and audio streaming, personalized stock quotes and Web browsing.

Yahoo has been a leader in providing financial information, largely by sponsoring stock message boards and by repackaging content from other partners. Following America Online's merger announcement with Time Warner, the company has faced new pressure to bolster its offerings.

"Yahoo is obviously taking the path to producing their own content in an effort to differentiate their product," said Jordan Rohan, an analyst at Wit Capital. "Yahoo finance is one of the most popular online destinations, and it has probably the strongest community and message board system in the online finance world."

The programs offered on the beta version of FinanceVision focus on the technology industry. They include a self-titled show, which is Webcast in live streams, and broadcast channels such as "HotCos," "Wealth" and "Morning Call." Users can watch the programs in a window on their computer screens and browse the Web in another.

Yahoo FinanceVision will also offer its own financial editorial content produced by an in-house editorial staff. The programs will be streamed live daily on FinanceVision, and produced by a Yahoo team of TV journalists. Eric Scholl, formerly the executive producer of CNNfn and Moneyline with Lou Dobbs, will lead production and development.

The service also has signed numerous editorial partners, including Cassandra's Revenge, CBS MarketWatch, E-Harmon, Exorbis, Forbes, Green Magazine, The Industry Standard, IPO Financial Network, Media Metrix, Red Herring, Reporter TV, Standard & Poor's and TheStreet.com.

"Yahoo FinanceVision represents the full integration of video streaming expertise we have developed as a leading provider of broadcast services on the Web, and is a natural extension of our powerful digital distribution network," Jeff Mallett, Yahoo's president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

Other Internet companies, You've got Time Warnernotably AOL, are looking for ways to incorporate Internet features into TV programming. AOL is preparing to launch AOL TV, which folds features such as instant messaging, chat, calendars and email into the television screen.

The software requires users to upgrade to Microsoft Windows Media Player 6.4, and have Microsoft's Internet Explorer to complete its installation.

Yahoo in the past has launched applications aimed at keeping people on its services. The company last year acquired a small technology firm called Log-Me-On for $9.9 million to develop Yahoo Companion, a software application that offers My Yahoo features, including email, stock quotes and news, in a browser toolbar.

 

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