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How Yahoo View is trying to draw TV fans

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There has been a flurry of TV and video-related M&A activity and partnerships announced over the course of 2016, but one of the most interesting, if under-the-radar, unions is Yahoo and Hulu. In August, Yahoo launched Yahoo View which mainly features full episodes of network shows via Hulu.

As Hulu shifted its focus toward its ad-free subscription service and its pending streaming service, Yahoo was able to swoop in as the preferred partner, and while other services will also team with Hulu on free content, Yahoo will presumably have more of it.

Yahoo shut down Yahoo Screen (which carried original content and carried Season 6 of Community) earlier this year, but View – which presumably has less upside – is nothing if not a surer bet. In addition to working in tandem with Hulu, View integrates the Yahoo-owned Tumblr, a TV fan-favorite social network; it also has an iOS and Android app that focuses on shorter form content, including clips best moments from shows.

For more on the launch of View we spoke with Vishwa Ranjan, director of product management at Yahoo:

Found Remote: Yahoo View launched four months ago. What has surprised or encouraged you about viewer behavior so far?

Vishwa Ranjan: We’ve been excited to see the popularity of newer or lesser known shows like This is Us, The Good Place and Designated Survivor. Since launching on Yahoo View in early August, we've moved quickly to add new features, including the “keep watching” functionality that displays the last few shows you’ve watched.

FR: How does the Tumblr integration enhance the viewing experience?

Ranjan: Viewers love going beyond the episode to read about celebrities and connect with other passionate fans over plot twists, costumes and favorite character ships. Tumblr is already a great place for that, so we integrated popular photos and GIFs from official Tumblr pages.

FR: What went behind the decision to only offer clips (versus full episodes) on the mobile experience?

Ranjan: At the moment our streaming rights give us access to thousands of the latest clips. To view full episodes, check out Yahoo View on desktop.

FR: Outside of the obvious content benefits, what else does the relationship with Hulu enable Yahoo View to do?

Ranjan: Yahoo View is the preferred partner of Hulu, meaning we have the very best free content available online including thousands of full-length episodes of television.

FR: How will Yahoo View differ from Yahoo Screen? What have you learned from the Screen experience that will inform the View one?

Ranjan: Yahoo Screen was predominately a short form video destination that had both Yahoo Originals, partner content from a wide variety of categories (News, Sports, Finance, Music, Entertainment, Travel, Beauty, Parenting, Viral videos, etc.) and user generated viral videos. Comparatively, Yahoo View is a more focused video destination that will have a richer library of short form and long form TV and movie content. More so, Yahoo View allows fans to go beyond each episode with clips, fan tumblr content, and news. This includes fun features like the spoiler zone that visually blocks content that might spoil the video you’re watching and picture-in-picture which allows you to continue to watch while you browse the content.