Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

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Yahoo Turns Inward As Interest In Company Grows

Yahoo hopes to improve its reputation through in-house news.Yahoo has begun to work toward creating more content itself as the company struggles to establish itself as an important player in online media, according to The New York Times.

Yahoo has developed the single largest online news service in the world, with 686 million users and huge followings in popular areas like finance and sports as well as more traditional news. Data from comScore shows the site beat the next most popular news site, CNN.com, 81.2 million visitors to 75.3 million visitors in August.

However, the company has seen few financial returns from their market dominance, with billboard revenue stagnating at $1 billion even as the online advertising market grew 27 percent. Yahoo executives believe the problem lies with lack of respect for the service, given its reliance on news aggregation from news services like The Associated Press and the Times.

"If we ask somebody on the street, 'What's the top news brand?' Would they say Yahoo news?" Mickie Rosen, senior vice president of Yahoo's media properties, told the Times. "The honest answer is they probably wouldn't."

The company's proposed solution for the problem is an increasing emphasis on internally generated content. New editor in chief Jai Singh, who was responsible for much of the development of technology news site CNET, has taken on the responsibility of developing Yahoo's nascent newsroom into a more respected reporting agency. Singh has attempted to tackle the issue through increased communication between sections.

The layout of the site has been modified to stress this new emphasis as well, however, with more of Yahoo's content featured on the front page and articles tailored to better fit individual readers. Businessweek also reports that Yahoo has struck a deal with ABC News to publish some of the news source's material directly.

Efforts to improve the company's profile and profitability have extended beyond its news sections, however. GigaOm reports that the company has introduced Yahoo Screen, which incorporates Yahoo's old video site in addition to licensed content from Hulu, Discovery and other media providers. GigaOm suggests the decision could signal the end of Yahoo's attempts to purchase Hulu, as it instead turns its focus inward.

As it backs down from acquisitions of its own, talks about the purchase of Yahoo have heated up. Reuters reports that Chinese Alibaba Group recently expressed interest in the company, while The Wall Street Journal implicates more traditional players in the industry such as Microsoft and News Corp.

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