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Battle of the YouTube Stars? Yahoo looks to launch own video service, to court popular YouTubers

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So it has come to this - all those YouTube sensations, who have already hit it big with their various viral videos on the Google-owned video social network, might now be getting involved in a bidding war for their services as Yahoo readies to take the plunge in this previously unchallenged space.

Allegedly already in the works, Yahoo's version of the wildly popular video site is hoping to take advantage of the growing complaints about YouTube from both video creators and owners, the loudest of which (not surprisingly) is about the amount of money they make. In short, it's not enough.

This very familiar battle (see network or cable TV) is clearly viewed as an opening for Yahoo to enter a space that Google has dominated since they purchased YouTube back in 2006. YouTube was launched in February of  2005.

Though very few may be aware, Yahoo already has a YouTube-ish video service called Screen that they launched in September of last year. Yahoo Screen was designed as a mobile app for Apple iOS devices to serve as a mobile home for Yahoo's own media content. Based on its relative anonymity it hasn't exactly taken off.

Video remains an explosive part of the web and this move by Yahoo is clearly about taking advantage of the steady and consistent growth of video consumption on the Internet. A few statistics that Yahoo is probably fairly keen on include JBL Media's finding that online video accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic, comScore's claims that on average a website visitor will stay on a site up to two minutes longer to watch a video and Google themselves tells us that the chance of getting a page one listing on their search page increase 53 times with video.

Undoubtedly, Yahoo is also keenly aware that YouTube is currently taking a 45% cut of ad revenue, offers users no guarantees and still insists on relying on software, not people, to pick the videos it thinks users want to see. That last part of the equation has been a sticking point with its users for quite a while. Several of the site's bigger stars have grumbled enough in recent months, apparently to deaf ears, and either attempted to launch their own sites or moved over to other video portals such as Microsoft's Xbox.

Among the offers Yahoo may be willing to put in front of current YouTube stars (that Google currently doesn't) is allowing video producers the ability to sell advertising along with Yahoo's sales force.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is a former Google exec who has brought quite a bit of Google's methodology to Yahoo since she joined the company back in 2012. She was Google's 20th employee when she was hired there back in 1999 as the company's first female engineer. She has since climbed the ranks and recently appeared on Fortune magazine's list of America's Most Powerful Businesswomen - she was ranked eight.

She may be about to take another huge leap in her career with this venture as the timing may just be ripe for taking a shot at Google's YouTube empire.

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