On Saturday, Yahoo provided the first-ever live stream of the fabled Berkshire Hathaway investor conference, giving people at home a look inside the goings-on of the annual event held at BH headquarters in Omaha.
While not a blockbuster by the standards of top sporting events like Turner's March Madness, the live stream garnered 1.8 million views worldwide, and 1.1 million unique views. That's quite a bit less than the 15.2 million uniques Yahoo gained during its October live stream of a regular-season NFL game from London. Still, Yahoo stands to shore up the value of its eroding brand ahead of a sale. The web search giant is reviewing bids for its core business, including an offer from Verizon, and reportedly has shortlisted around 10 bidders, most of whom are offering cash, according to Business Insider.
So, what was the significance of this particular live stream, out of all the other events people could have been watching on a sunny Saturday?
For one, it put noted investor Warren Buffett front and center in the finance world for several hours, laying out his view of Wall Street and the global economy, and not just to attendees but to anyone who clicked over to Yahoo Finance. Those actually at the conference were still the only ones who got ask questions of Berkshire Hathaway's chief, of course.
It also gave Yahoo yet another opportunity to showcase branded events -- TD Ameritrade and Scottrade were main sponsors of the live stream -- through not just a direct feed to the BH broadcast but also by providing value-added content. Yahoo Finance reporters were on hand covering the event, and Yahoo streamed several pre-taped, on-demand interviews with top board members including Buffett, Dairy Queen CEO John Gainor, and Brooks Running CEO Jim Weber.
Partnering between corporations and media companies to provide this sort of dedicated coverage online is likely to continue to trend over the next several months. While it's not the first time an online video service has built a whole experience around a single event -- Super Bowl, anyone? -- it certainly won't be the last. For example, NBC this week partnered with Snapchat to provide an enhanced, social media-based experience around the Summer Olympics that it hopes will complement its live broadcasts.
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