Streaming has put 'fear in the eyes' of old media: Levinsohn

Levinsohn: Twitter should buy Yahoo

The growth of streaming services has put "fear in the eyes" of traditional media companies at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Yahoo former interim CEO Ross Levinsohn said Tuesday.

"Streaming is without a doubt the story so far that I've been hearing here," Levinsohn told CNBC's "Fast Money: Halftime Report."

"I think it's been growing immensely."

Ross Levinsohn
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

More companies have embraced the transition to streaming services from more traditional forms of broadcast, leaving advertising companies on shaky footing, Levinsohn said. On Monday, Dish Network jumped on the platform shift, announcing a $20-per-month Internet streaming service that will include ESPN and other Disney-owned networks.

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Levinsohn added that streaming services are "huge" for millennials. Companies targeting the demographic will need to tailor their businesses, he said.

Streaming was among the technology developments Levinsohn discussed from CES in Las Vegas. He also addressed speculation that he could be among top candidates to replace Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, saying he held no conversations with the company about assuming the position.

"Dick has done a really strong job," Levinsohn said. "He's steadied a rocky space and got it public."

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Last month, SunTrust's Bob Peck told "Halftime Report" that he anticipated Costolo would step down in 2015. He mentioned Levinsohn among the candidates who could potentially replace him.

While he hasn't talked to the company about joining, Levinsohn believes Twitter could make a splash by buying Yahoo. The merged company would become "the most powerful force in the media business," he said.

Twitter's role as "the biggest newsroom in the world" has made it one of the five most important media companies currently, Levinsohn said. Adding Twitter's real-time prowess to Yahoo would make a combined company "an incredible force," he added.

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Twitter declined to comment on leadership or acquisitions, but directed CNBC to a tweet from board member Peter Currie, who said he was "very confident" in Costolo.