If you’re looking for your favorite Bass-o-Matic skit from Saturday Night Live, you won’t find it on Hulu anymore. The streaming service lost a bidding war against Yahoo to house clips from 1975 to 2012 on the streaming-service website. Yahoo snagged the vintage clips in a deal with Broadway Video as the sole website other than NBC.com to house the videos. While it might seem like a small win for the struggling search engine, it could mean big things for the world of digital entertainment.
Saturday Night Live hasn’t been an easy show to find online historically. As NBC Universal disallows its clips to be shown on YouTube, you’d need to go elsewhere to find Debbie Downer or Mary Katherine Gallagher, which meant searching for it on Hulu or the NBC website. Now, you’ll be able to find your clips on Yahoo, which may mean more advertising before you get to your video. After all, eMarketer.com notes a steady rise in digital marketing, with 66 billion advertising bucks going to TV and 4.14 billion going to digital methods. It’s likely why Yahoo! pursued the deal so anxiously — traffic for an in-demand TV show could help bolster traffic and attract ad revenue.
Yahoo isn’t the only video provider looking for exclusive deals — in 2012, Netflix let a deal with Starz lapse in order to go for a contract with Disney, which included Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. Hulu has likely made a similar move, allowing Yahoo to outbid to free up cash for another deal. It’s simply the latest in digital entertainment maneuvering, which means that the best-stocked provider usually wins watcher dollars and traffic. For now, Hulu retains the rights to stream full episodes of SNL as well as clips from the current season only, while Yahoo gets the entire library from the conception of the show.
As a TV watcher, the switch to Yahoo for SNL might not mean that much — until you’re wishing you could show a friend your favorite digital short. With a reliable library on-hand and easier navigation, the new library could help SNL go even more viral with accessible videos that are easily shared online. It could also mean more video and original TV content from Yahoo as a whole as the site tries to revamp its image.
It’s the newest version of making cable content available online and a clear strike to earn ad dollars. The competition is still fairly small, but with more companies willing to throw their hats into the ring, you get the upper hand as a consumer and TV watcher — more choices and different mediums mean you get the largest variety of entertainment possible.
Now, who wants to watch Kristen Wiig do Penelope?