Sweet: Yahoo Debuts WebPlayer for YouTube and Other Media Formats

Seeking to capitalize on the boom in online video, Yahoo has released a beta version of its WebPlayer, which can play a variety of file types -- including YouTube videos -- and automatically adds relevant video to web pages. This is the next generation of its long-standing Yahoo Media Player.

As described on the Yahoo Developer Network blog, the WebPlayer recognizes terms within quotes, such as movie titles, and makes those playable (see screenshot below). Clicking "play" opens an in-page player to stream all the detected items as a single playlist. Publishers can add the WebPlayer to their pages with one line of code.

Yahoo plans to add functionality for additional media formats, audio and video services and categories in future releases, Director of Media Web Apps Alex Sirota notes in the blog post.

“We’ll also be providing a pretty comprehensive API for the Yahoo! WebPlayer that would allow programmatic creation of mashups, mixed-media playlists and much more," writes Alex.

Google sites (i.e., YouTube) ranked as the top online video content property in June 2011 with 149.3M unique viewers while Yahoo ranked third (52.7M viewers), according to ComScore.