Yahoo! Aiming To Create More Premium Inventory With ABC News Partnership

ABC and YahooThe highly-anticipated announcement by Yahoo! this morning has come and gone – there’s still no official word on the Aol, Yahoo! and Microsoft agreement to sell each other’s data-driven, non-guaranteed inventory through still-undisclosed methods.

But, Yahoo! did announce that it’s going to go beyond its current, video news distribution deal with ABC News and leverage what some say Yahoo! does best and help create branded, web content. Ad-supported content strategy is alive and well – particularly when the word “premium” is involved.

From the release (view it):

“This new venture blends ABC News’ global newsgathering operation and unrivaled lineup of trusted anchors and reporters with Yahoo! News’ unmatched audience, depth and breadth of content. Beginning today,, launches on Yahoo! along with three new online-first video series hosted by the award-winning, trusted anchors of ABC News.”

Part of the benefit of the ABC News link up, which goes way beyond Good Morning America, is that Yahoo! will be aggregating still more “premium”, Class 1 inventory – whether its video, graphical display, mobile or another. Yahoo! EVP Ross Levinsohn stressed “premium” content in the press conference with ABC on Monday.

The opportunity to create partnerships with media companies as well as slick online destinations AT SCALE on their behalf is still an overlooked Yahoo! asset. Levinsohn briefly discussed the content management system (CMS) and platforms (LiveSpan for mobile) that ABC will leverage.

As publishers continue to grow their digital strategy, a robust content management system is a critical part of yield management. And tying an understanding of yield from non-guaranteed to premium/guaranteed, across channels, and what to expect from content (predictive analytics) through a CMS is still a publisher dream. Though Google is progressively getting into the content space with YouTube, Next New Networks and tiny Zagat among others, it is clear that unique content and creative is progressively becoming the new, differentiating technology.

It’s interesting to note that each of the ABC news reporters that were trotted out for this event stressed the benefits of the real-time and “live” aspects of the partnership as the news organization will be able to extend its content online with out the restriction of broadcast time. For brand dollars looking to extend its buy from TV to online in a brand-safe environment, branded channels through Yahoo!’s scale and CMS seems powerful. Will Yahoo! continue to aggregate relationships like ABC? – whether its news, entertainment, lifestyle content, etc. For Yahoo!’s own survival, this would seem to be the right move.

More premium content means more premium inventory and a content bridge from the lean-back world of television to a progressively leaning-back world of online.

By John Ebbert

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