Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hey, Yahoo! Which Is It? In or Out of Internet Video?

I recently wrote about reports that Yahoo! was moving away from providing services to enable Internet video -- in this case, shutting down Maven Networks, Yahoo!'s Internet publishing/hosting operations.  This, despite the fact that Internet video is only in its early innings.  In other words, we ain't seen nothing yet of this massive market opportunity that is changing the way we consume content.  

Why, just yesterday, Cisco released its forecast concluding that, by 2013, video will be 90% of all consumer IP traffic and 64% of all mobile data traffic!  And, even Carol Bartz, Yahoo!'s new CEO, just recently proclaimed her bullish-ness (is that a word?) about Internet video.  In her words, "This is just the beginning.  The whole video area is so exciting.  Video advertising growing four times by 2011."  And, she underscored her company's intent to make acquisitions in the area of "social [media] and in video technology."

So, on the one hand, Yahoo!'s actions indicate that it is moving away from providing technology that enables Internet video; but, on the other hand, Yahoo!'s word indicate that it intends to invest heavily in Internet video technology.  Kinda' reminds me of my favorite line from my least favorite Godfather movie (Part III, if there were ever a doubt) -- when Al Pacino, in a fit of exasperation, shouts, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"

So, which is it Yahoo!?  In or out of the video enabling marketplace?  Or, is this simply a strategic move to confuse the rest of us out there?