Yahoo's big plans to dominate online media

After a year of aggressive acquisitions, Yahoo is making clear its plans to be at the center of the online advertising ecosystem with a line up of new products.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in the US yesterday, CEO Marissa Mayer unveiled a series of major changes to its ad business, according to several global tech media.

It launched a unifying brand, Yahoo Advertising and a buying platform, Yahoo Ad Manager, aiming to create a central suite of tools for online advertisers to manage their buys, both on Yahoo inventory as well as other platforms. This will allow buyers to execute buys across all of Yahoo’s channels.

The company also acquired of Aviate, a San Francisco-based startup that develops an "intelligent homescreen". Aviate organises an Android user’s home screen based on what they’re doing, and what its algorithms deem the most relevant to the user.

“This really allows us to be more in the cockpit,” Scott Burke, Yahoo’s SVP of ad tech told Adweek. “There is nobody out there with all these ad products. Everybody on the agency side is trying to do cross-channel buys. But even search is a point solution at Google. Nobody has the same breadth of channels that we have,” he said.

In addition, the company is also going big into its content strategy, earlier hiring notable reporters such as former CBS journalist Katie Couric for its news videos. At CES, it announced its series of digital magazines at CES – Yahoo Tech, helmed by former New York Times tech columnist David Pogue and Yahoo Food, which will have recipes and other culinary news.

Mayer also unveiled a new Yahoo app built on Summly’s service, News Digest. The app aims to to help people stay “quickly informed” on the day’s big topics by sending out twice daily updates, or digests. Content on the app pulls from several sources to create news stories.

David Cooperstein, an analyst with Forrester Research, told the New York Times that Mayer’s focus on content was “going where no tech company has gone before” and that the move would appeal to advertisers who are seeking quality and a more mainstream audience.

“The other folks — Google and Facebook — are more reliant on audience participation to grow content,” he said.