Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has furthered its efforts to offer more content to attract users by exclusively debuting Fox Digital Studio (FDS) original series SUIT UP on Yahoo! Screen.  This is Yahoo’s first distribution deal with FDS, and we expect more such deals going forward. With this deal, Yahoo may be looking at making Screen a bigger part of its overall product offerings, and thereby increase page views among existing users as well as attract new users. The success of the series could expand Yahoo’s presence in the online media industry and increase the number of page views on its web properties.
Yahoo Screen is partly an attempt at competing with Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Youtube, but instead of focusing on user video uploads, it creates its own content as well as offers content from other media outlets. We think partnerships with major digital outlets will help the company expand its content offerings and offer more publicity, which could drive additional page views on its properties.
SUIT UP, an eight-episode digital series produced by FDS, in association with DIRECTV, is centered around a crisis manager who pilots a scandal-soaked college athletic department.  All eight episodes will be exclusively available on Yahoo! Screen for two weeks before being distributed on other digital platforms. With a strong user reach, Yahoo can create more curiosity about the show by marketing on its other properties. If the company is successful at converting user curiosity to an increase in page views, it will help drive revenues for Yahoo’s display ads business and provide upside to our price estimate.
We expect to see more such initiatives by Yahoo to improve its digital media offerings in the future. If the media deals are successful, we could see the company expand to user contributions in a direct attempt to compete with Youtube. We expect Marissa Mayer’s energy and focus to improve Yahoo’s content and product offerings, but how well the new products will be accepted by the customers remains to be seen.
We currently have a $19 price estimate for Yahoo!, which is approximately 25% above the current market price.Notes: