Following rumors that surfaced back in May, Yahoo has officially acquired RayV, a Cali-based video streaming start-up that specializes in delivering high-quality video streams to a large audience. It makes sense for Yahoo to acquire RayV’s HD broadcasting platform with the aim of improving its streaming tech. After all, competition in current OTT video market is already quite fierce, and Yahoo would need more than a new season of cult favorite Community to help establish Yahoo Screen’s market awareness and presence.
Yahoo announced that it will begin charging only for display ads that actually come into view on someone’s screen. Advertisers have, for many years, paid for placements across the web regardless of whether or not they’re seen, and now advertisers will get precisely what they pay for as part of this program. It’s a shift towards accountability that should yield positive results for Yahoo’s relationship with the ad industry across its many social and multi-device platforms.
According to new research by sharing platform Shareaholic, search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are driving a dwindling share of total site traffic across the Internet. Over the last six months, all top five search engines in the US drove a smaller share of overall traffic to sites that Shareaholic tracks. Conversely, there has been a spike in social referrals, suggesting that social traffic is far more valuable to websites looking to generate traffic than search engines, at the current juncture.
Yahoo announced that content from Tumblr Sponsored Posts will be promoted across Yahoo Gemini and its other, related content streams. Ads and linked content attached to those Sponsored Posts will follow – so you can ask users to follow or reblog you across the Internet, magazines, and mobile experiences. It’s the powerful step that many were waiting for, and it makes Tumblr’s ad platform that much more useful.
Blink, a direct mobile messaging rival to SnapChat, has been acquired by Yahoo, and the Blink team members will be absorbed into the Yahoo structure. Blink launched over a year ago on iOS, and allowed users to text, share photos, videos, voice, and more with individuals and groups. As well, these messages’ visibility could be controlled with timers much like SnapChat. At the same time, Blink’s primary user base is located in the United States, with over 100,000 downloads on Android in its first year of existence; the second largest market was the Middle East. All of that aside, the acquisition points to the fact that Yahoo recognizes the value of messaging apps – that is, that it doesn’t have one of its own just yet that’s a viable competitor to the big names in the messaging world just yet, and that it’s a market that’s worth buying into.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo is looking to acquire the type of video content that is propelling Netflix to the forefront of peak domestic Internet traffic. Those on the inside say that Yahoo wants to purchase four web series, and is looking to push them via a new streaming medium. Although Yahoo declined to comment for now, it seems as though Yahoo wants to very seriously push the content out as a major source of new revenue – as the TV market continues to fragment, Yahoo would love to pick up some of those pieces from traditional TV markets. Yahoo wants to have the content ready for up-fronts starting on April 28th. And, knowing Yahoo’s stance on advertising, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them make a very big push into the marketing and native space in conjunction with TV shows.
Yahoo’s young Nick D’aloisio remerged at their CES Keynote yesterday to highlight a new app called the Yahoo News Digest. Highly visual in nature, it aims to rethink news consumption for the modern era, and eschews personalization in favor of curation. In principle, the Digest takes the form of the morning and evening papers that have existed for decades by notifying all Digest subscribers at a given point, in the morning and the evening, when the digest is ready; everybody receives the same Digest that has been curated by Yahoo’s news staff, and it comes in the form of digestible bits of text dotted with photos, maps, tweets, and other visual elements. The ultimate goal is to tackle the overwhelming feeling brought on by too much reading material often found in apps like Flipboard, where it can often seem exhausting just to get through all the feeds you’ve subscribed to.
For now, the app is iPhone only, but one of the more interesting announcements from the keynote is that the Digest will feature native advertising – or, advertisements that look similar to the articles and sit within the flow of the Digest itself. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer admitted that advertising – specifically native advertising – would need to help Yahoo emerge again as one of the more profitable companies, and the Digest is a prime target for intuitive, native ad work. Advertisers should keep a keen eye on the app in the near future.
Yahoo’s ongoing revamp continued with its recent announcement of Yahoo Screen, an iOS app that compiles all of its entertainment content for streaming. The library includes an extensive Saturday Night Live archive and select Comedy Central programming including the Colbert Report and the Daily Show. More than 1,000 hours of comedy programming is currently available to stream on the service. Other content comes from ABC News, GQ, Wired, Major League Baseball, UFC, among others. The app is designed to be highly gesture based, with swipes playing a key role. With more and more companies entering the streaming space, are we about to see a leap of innovation in web based multimedia programming?
Publishers have been looking to monetize on mobile but the smaller screen and lack of user data makes it a challenge for many. Yahoo is the latest to boost its offerings, acquiring AdMovate, a mobile location-based offer platform. The union should provide more targeted messaging and direct response opportunities for Yahoo’s advertisers, amidst weak Q2 earnings.
A weeks after the Yahoo acquisition, Tumblr is rolling out its native ad product that features brand sponsored posts that appear as any other piece of content on the platform. The posts will simply include a $ sign to indicate paid content and will be integrated within the user’s dashboard stream. The new product has all the pros and cons of native advertising. The custom nature of Tumblr-specific content force brands to get creative about their posts but there are significant cost and time associated as well.
So will the new rollout attract advertisers? So far, Denny’s AT&T, Ford and others have taken part, likely attracted by the 46.5% of Tumblr’s audience that falls between 18-34. The average user–29 million uniques in total–spends 153 minutes on the platform per month as well.