There has been a lot of speculation about the future of Yahoo. While it is most likely to be sold, there is the distinct possibility that The Board could find the right CEO candidate and make another go of it. There is also the possibility that any company or person that does buy Yahoo will embrace the media strategy and try to make it happen.
So it’s worth taking a look at what Yahoo would look like if it did become a media company. The reason Yahoo has a shot at Media greatness has to do with it’s ability to mix content AND technology to create better, more relevant and more interesting content. Developing technologies are going to change storytelling as we know it. Text, Pictures, Audio and Video will are all converging on digital platforms, and the very best content will make use of all of those forms of media.
That’s something new for the media, which has in recent decades been siloed off into print, radio and television.
But the news and entertainment of the future will converge those mediums to tell the advantage of the consumer, who will get a story more richly and more efficiently told.
Newsrooms of the future will no longer be built around a form of media (newspaper newsroom, tv newsroom, etc.) but around the subject they cover: (Sports? San Francisco? Financial News? etc.). And the people who staff these newsrooms will increasingly become more knowledgable about every aspect of multi-media storytelling and know better how to deal out content over the various platforms.
Yahoo could be that truly digital media company, producing and distributing all forms of content over multiple platforms for emerging and merging audiences. Yahoo News would appear on ABC.com, in The Chicago Tribune, on CBS Radio and on the IPhone, among others. Yahoo Sports would appear on FoxNews.com, NBC-TV Sports Stations, Comcast Sports Nets, The Sports sections of hundreds of newspapers, on ESPN Sports Radio and TV and hundreds of other outlets. Yahoo TV-programs will run on web channels, linear cable TV channels and even broadcast television, not to mention mobile and tablet platforms.
Yahoo News, Sports and Finance on the web will contain headlines from every media company that covers those areas, with links back to the sites where the stories came from. The Yahoo content sites will contain its own content plus that of many partners.
When a Yahoo email account is opened and you get an email from someone, any news about that person or the company or even industry they work for, could show up under the mail window. A Yahoo page on Cable TV could suggest programs you might want to watch based on your previous viewing activity.
When you look at a stock chart, and notice the stock hit a peak six weeks ago, you could be able to run your cursor over the chart and up will come the headlines of the stories that day that might have impacted the stock, so you can possibly even see why the stock shot up.
When you watch the latest installment of you favorite TV show, you might be able to stop the show, and use the remote control to order the jewelry you see the star wearing from the Yahoo Shopping Channel. In fact, it will give you several alternative places, on line and off line but nearby, and you can pick where you want to order from.
When you are taking a walk in midtown Manhattan after work one Friday, you could possibly pull out your phone, check the Yahoo app, and find out which bars have a happy hour within 5 blocks.
At the San Francisco Giants baseball game at ATandT Park you might be able to pull out your phone, click open a Yahoo App and get the stats of the pitcher and the batter up right now.
Yahoo has the tech savvy and has the audience. It’s not easy, but it has the time to build the media brand. But building what could be a huge brand takes money and plenty of hard work on the part of an army of editors/producers/whatever we might call them.
But the prize is large…the first Techno-Media company in the world.