Tag Archives: Yahoo

Yahoo Adds Valassis to Local Reseller Network

Yahoo is seeking to extend direct marketing budgets online via a new deal with DM giant Valassis, which claims 15,000 advertisers and reaches 114 million shoppers.

The new effort adds another dimension to Yahoo’s local reachout, which currently focuses on newspapers and Yellow Pages. The Valassis relationship has the potential to bring its broadcaster and telco marketing affiliates into Yahoo’s fold as well.

The new deal marks an evolution of the local strategy, which seeks to be all embracing in efforts to win a higher percentage of local budgets for online, while also focusing on specific verticals, such as fast food.

In related local Yahoo news, Paid Content reports that Yahoo has dropped some under-performers from its Newspaper Consortium. Yahoo told the newsletter that fewer than a dozen of its 800-plus newspaper members were involved.

Monster Buys HotJobs From Yahoo

Monster Worldwide has bought HotJobs from Yahoo for $225 million. It will also be in charge of Yahoo’s recruitment content in North America for the next three years, bringing in perhaps another $100 million for the life of the deal from home page traffic, etc. As part of the deal, which closes in 3Q 2010, Monster also gets exclusive rights to negotiate similar arrangements with Yahoo’s overseas properties.

HotJobs has been on the market since Carol Bartz took over as CEO of Yahoo early last year (or even before). It hasn’t been clear if anyone would buy it for more than a fire-sale price. The deal’s price of $225 million does represent a significant discount from the $439 million that Yahoo paid in 2002, but it is more than some handicappers had been predicting.

The deal likely propels Monster well past Gannett’s CareerBuilder as the online recruitment leaders (by revenue). Lately, CareerBuilder’s lagging profits have become a drain on Gannett’s profits. Likewise, Monster today reported during an earnings call that 4Q revs were down 27 percent, and that it suffered a net loss of $2.1 million on 4Q revenues of $213 million.

For Yahoo, the deal is the latest in a series of selloffs. Notably, it sold its search business to Microsoft last year, and de-emphasized other areas such as shopping and small business. It has also been rumored to put some of its other verticals in play as well.

HotJobs, of course, had been the original glue that brought Yahoo and the newspapers together. But the consortium has lately been focused more on using Yahoo’s APT behavioral targeting advertising platform. Some members of the consortium already use Monster.

Recruitment remains a huge category. But in recent years, it has been challenged by the recession. It has also become a major battlezone driven by technologies, such as semantic search-and-match job listings, mapping and communities of interest. Indeed, a growing part of the market has moved to niche specialties, such as trade associations etc. At the same time, ancillary verticals such as vocational education, relocation and job fairs have proved to be less important than once thought.

WebVisible: SMBs Spent Average of $1,658 on Search in Q3; Google’s Share Drops a Little

Small businesses that buy search spent $1,658 on average in Q3 2009, a figure that was up 91 percent from 3Q 2008, according to a new report issued by WebVisible, a company that manages online marketing campaigns for SMBs.

Thirty-three percent of the SMB search market is made up of advertisers spending between $1,000 and $1,999. Fifteen percent is made up of advertising spending between $2,000 and $2,999. Twelve percent is made up of advertising spending above $3,000 on the high end, and 19 percent spend between $100-$999 on the lower end.

The report, “State of Small Businesses Online Advertising, Search Edition, Q3,” noted that search spending is widely spread out among SMB categories, with the Top 20 categories making up just 20 percent of total search spending. Leading spenders were Attorneys, Dentists, Air Conditioning Services, Physicians & Surgeons, Insurance, Roofing, and Plumbing Contractors. Of these only the top four categories had spending share over two percent.

While Google dominates spending with over 60 percent of the market, that domination has lessened by five percentage points as lower priced competitors picked up the slack, according to the report. It also says that Google’s cost per click (CPC) jumped 14 percent from last year, and its CPC is now 30 percent above Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing. The report notes that Yahoo has over 26 percent share, and that Bing has 10.5 percent.

Yahoo News Pumping Up Local Efforts

Yahoo News is bolstering its local efforts and building “a staff of editors around the US who will improve the local news experience on the frontpage,” according to a Tweet from Anthony Moor, who was recruited from Dallasnews.com, per Lost Remote. The Yahoo News effort is probably at least partially motivated by revamped local efforts at both MSN and AOL.

Yahoo is building on an area where it has already had some success. Local news modules on the Front Page have been in place for a couple of years, but they are currently automated and based on RSS feeds from local news sites, which gives it uneven results. Nevertheless, It drives a lot of clicks to local news sites, and likely helps to bring users to Yahoo as well.

At our Interactive Local Media conference in early December, Yahoo’s local efforts will be represented by VP Lem Lloyd; MSN’s local efforts will be represented by Executive Producer Scott Moore and Director Cyrus Krohn; and AOL’s local efforts will be represented by GM Chris Spanos.

Local Media Vets Launch Oakland Local

Hyperlocal sites are often run by earnest people who have just enough naivite about them to put in the hours and chase the dream, right? Former Yahoo and NJ.com exec Susan Mernit probably doesn’t qualify.

But Mernit, a 10 year resident of the Bay Area, is nevertheless chasing the dream at Oakland Local,. The new hyperlocal site that has received some funding from a Knight Foundation project, but is otherwise on its own to succeed as a 501 C.

Mernit says the site has been designed to fill in the blanks for Oakland, which operates in San Francisco’s shadow and has no “unified” media. That became readily apparent after the New Year’s Day shooting on the BART mass transit system. The media focused on shopkeepers windows being broken, but didn’t think about the mothers with children riding mass transit, says Mernit.

“At the end of the day, Oakland Local is really about helping civic engagement,” says Mernit. To that end, the site has organized many of area’s 180 blogs into a Techcrunch-influenced OakDirectory. If users don’t subscribe to every feed of every blog, the information is hard to find and keep up with, she notes.

The site also supplements the blogs with its own staff of six people, all of whom are part-time. Among those joining Mernit on the task are longtime social media vets Amy Gahran and Kwan Booth. Mernit expects her human editors to differentiate computer-based aggregators that don’t have local feet on the street, like Topix.net and Outside.in.

While the site will take advertising — $250 per month – the site will mostly be focusing on building audiences for the next six to eight months. One effort in that direction is the Techliminal “Social Media for Social Action” community workshop that the site is running this weekend (which is almost sold out).

The ILM:09 Lineup: Dec. 9-11 in LA

The lineup for BIA/Kelsey’s Interactive Local Media ’09 is really taking shape. The speakers truly represent a “who’s who” of what’s going on in the space that is interesting, progressive and important.

ILM is the culmination of this year’s research and analysis, and takes place Dec. 9-11 at our favorite hotel, The Century Plaza in LA. Here’s the registration info. And here’s the current lineup.
Willow Bay, Senior Editor, Huffington Post
Cory Bergman, Director, New Product Development, MSNBC.com
Matthew Berk, Executive VP, Product Engineering, Marchex
Jason Boseck, President, Parking Data Ventures
Neil Budde, President and Chief Product Officer, Daily Me
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Executive in Residence, Accel Partners
Surojit Chatterjee, Product Manager, Google
Darrin Clement, CEO, Maponics
Court Cunningham, CEO, Yodle
Geoff Donaker, COO, Yelp
Aaron Finn, President and CEO, AdReady
Matt Howard, CEO. SMBLive
Mark Josephson, CEO, Outside.in
Warren Kay, VP, Local, Fox Interactive Networks
Tim Kendall, Director, Monetization, Facebook
Cyrus Krohn, Director, Online Services Programming, Microsoft
Chris LaSala, Director, Local, Google
Warren Lee, Venture Partner, Canaan Partners
Lem Lloyd, VP, U.S. Partnerships, Yahoo
Scott Moore, U.S. Executive Producer, MSN, Microsoft
Mike Orren, President and Founder, Pegasus News
Geneva Overholser, Director, USC Annenberg School
Meredith Papp, Director, Product Marketing, Google
Jim Pastor, Senior VP, ESPN Local Digital
Kevin Ryan, CMO, WebVisible
Lori H. Schwartz, Senior VP, Interpublic Emerging Media Lab
Doug Scott, VP of Marketing, RMG Networks
Julia Scott, Chief Blogger and CEO, BargainBabe LA
Andy Simms, Director of Advertising Programs, Skype
Scott Tobias, President and COO, Village Voice Media
Kinsley Wilson, SVP and GM, NPR Digital
Victor Wong, CEO, PaperG
Michael Yang, Venture Partner, Comcast Ventures

Microsoft, Advance in Yahoo Consortium-like Pact

Newspapers are down in the dumps. But they remain powerful forces in local. Accordingly, the search engines (Yahoo, Google and Microsoft) are now beginning to fight for partnerships with newspaper sales channels, which they see as one of the best ways to reach into large local advertisers, and a good way to geotarget display ads.

Today, Microsoft fired a shot across the bow by announcing a wide- ranging search and display pact with Advance Internet for the 36 Advance Newspaper titles. Advance is part of the multimedia conglomerate that also owns Conde Naste magazines. The deal echoes the services provided by the Yahoo Newspaper Consortium, but allows Advance to use its own ad server.

Major components include behavioral targeting, geographic targeting and the opportunity to add local eyeballs via exposure to the broader Microsoft Media Network, which has a 76 percent reach among U.S. Internet users, and includes MSN, MSNBC.com (which today bought Everyblock), CNBC and Fox Sports. Microsoft will also be able to sell text ads and display ads to Advance Newspaper sites.

The deal also enables Advance’s sites to define broader geographic markets than the circulation areas of its 36 separate newspapers — a limitation of the Yahoo Consortium in certain markets. Several Advance sites cluster on a regional and state-wide basis. The major sites include NJ.com, Al.com, Cleveland.com, MLive.com, NOLA.com, OregonLive.com, SILive.com, Syracuse.com, MassLive.com, PennLive.com, Gulflive.com and Lehighvalleylive.com.

The MS/Advance pact has been cooking up for several months, well before Microsoft’s Bing became the default search engine for all Yahoo sales – including local business sales of the Yahoo! newspaper consortium Microsoft might like it more because it doesn’t give such a huge chunk of certain advertising (88 percent) to Yahoo.

We don’t know, however, whether the deal has been entirely sorted out within Microsoft. Some internal political issues might arise, especially if it is deemed to compromise the much more important relationship with Yahoo. We shall see.

As it is, the deal isn’t exclusive to Advance. It could be replicated with other local media companies – although obviously not to the members of the Yahoo Consortium, which are locked up for several years.

In fact, there aren’t that many major newspaper companies left unsigned. But Gannett, with 86 U.S. papers and Tribune are obvious targets, as Ken Doctor points out in his analysis. The deal might also have some impact on smaller newspapers, and other local media, such as Yellow Pages, broadcasters and cable TV. Microsoft already has some relationship with Yellowpages.com.

Advance Internet President Peter Weinberger sees the deal as a “re-messaging opportunity. We are already known for our quality audience and for our trusted relationships with our accounts,” he tells us. While Advance is something of a secretive organization and rarely touts its own horn in public forums, Weinberger emphasizes that the company has got to be considered a big win.

“We have the number one news and information sites in each of our markets,” he says. “Five of our sites rank in the top 10 of newspaper affiliated sites based on local penetration of adults 18+.”

The Advance/MS offering has already been pre-sold on a test basis to certain advertisers, including those in core newspaper categories such as auto dealers, financial services, and local retailers. Travel is another potentially lucrative category.

“We’ve had a positive response so far,” says Weinberger. “It should take a couple of months to settle down,” and will really prove itself in 2010.

In the meantime, “We are achieving our goal to put together a digital marketing plan based on a conversation with our clients,” adds Weinberger. “We want to meet the objectives of each of our advertisers with our campaigns on our site. “

Weinberger especially sees a lot of promise for his local advertisers with search – possibly extending beyond core newspaper advertisers. “Many (advertisers) are interested in search, but it is relatively complex,” says Weinberger. “We say: ‘let us take on the burden of managing this for you’…We show them the value associated with SEM,” in context with the broader advertising purchase.

While Microsoft is certainly competing with Yahoo by making the deal, Advance’s involvement should not be taken as a slap against the Yahoo Consortium, says Weinberger. “I have heard a lot of positive things” about The Consortium, he says.

But “Microsoft makes more sense at this time. It allows us to use our current ad server platform (24/7 RealMedia).” The situation is the same with Google, which would presumably mandate use of its DoubleClick division.

An added benefit to the deal is the consultative relationship that is promised by Microsoft. “Microsoft understands that we are experts in the local field,” says Weinberger. Accordingly, Advance is being consulted on the beta development of Microsoft’s PubCenter, which provides text ads for display on web pages, with a wide variety of design and reporting features.

Meanwhile, Microsoft says it is pleased with the deal. “The local perspective is important to us and will be incredibly helpful as we build out our reseller efforts,” notes Microsoft PubCenter GM Brian Handly, via email. “This collaboration with Advance Internet presents a good opportunity for us to tap into newspapers and other local media companies.”

Regarding the impact on the Yahoo Newspaper Consortium, Handly says “It is too soon to discuss specifics of the Microsoft-Yahoo! deal and what impact this may have on Yahoo’s newspaper consortium. Right now our focus is building a great number two player in search that creates choice, value, and innovation for consumers and advertisers.”