Try, Try Again

A Failed TV Show Attempts New Life as a Yahoo Webcast

In two brief runs on broadcast television, the live-concert show “Pepsi Smash” drew only a modest audience, but Yahoo is betting that putting the program online will be a boon to its digital music offerings.

Yahoo today plans to introduce a section of its Web site housing a redesigned version of “Smash,” which as a program on the WB network attracted an average of just 1.3 million viewers in eight episodes last summer. Yahoo and Pepsi are reviving the show as a collection of video segments on the Web, with plans to serve up digital streams of live performances from Coldplay, Kanye West and Gwen Stefani, along with new clips designed for short-attention-span online viewing.

[…] But that still leaves the question of whether a television program that struggled to find an audience will perform any better online. “If all they’re doing is taking the TV show and maybe cutting it up in different ways, but using the same logo and the same theme songs, that doesn’t make sense to me,” said Todd Chanko, an analyst at Jupiter Research.

[…] Pepsi is aiming to integrate its advertising message into the site without appearing “over the top,” said David A. Burwick, senior vice president and the chief marketing officer for Pepsi-Cola North America, a unit of PepsiCo. But sponsoring a continuing online series allows it to establish a long-term presence, since the Web site, unlike an episode of TV, is always on. “Online is a very viable medium to create a music experience,” Mr. Burwick said. “It doesn’t have to live in a static space like TV. There are interactive components we can add to make it even more dynamic.”