Yahoo’s ‘Mission Future Media’

Yahoo is slowly but certainly transforming itself into a media giant. It has been very active in this space — more active than Google and Microsoft. It recruited several people from media industry and is building a major operation in Santa Monica to be close to Hollywood.

Is Yahoo trying to build the interactive studio of the future? Saul Hansell reports

The short answer is yes, but Mr. Semel’s ambitions are far bigger and more complex than that. He wants Yahoo to be seen as more akin to Warner’s parent, Time Warner, which mixes content like Warner and CNN with distribution, like its cable systems. Yahoo is both of those and a lot of software, too.

Mr. Semel describes a strategy built on four pillars: First, is search, of course, to fend off Google, which has become the fastest-growing Internet company. Next comes community, as he calls the vast growth of content contributed by everyday users and semiprofessionals like bloggers. Third, is the professionally created content that Mr. Braun oversees, made both by Yahoo and other traditional media providers. And last, is personalization technology to help users sort through vast choices to find what interests them.

Madison Avenue’s rush online is feeding this activity, both the simple but highly specific-target text ads that flash on Web searches and the Internet versions of TV commercials.

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