In an overtly flashy keynote address to the packed CES crowd yesterday, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer presented the company’s vertical move into online magazines. First up is Yahoo Food, which will focus entirely on the culinary realm. Afterwards, Yahoo Tech will launch spearheaded by David Pogue, who was poached from the New York Times last October.
According to Business Insider, 800 million people use Yahoo monthly and an estimated 400 million of those users are from mobile. And with that wide net cast, Mayer, who Vanity Fair deemed both a dictator and cool fairy godmother, has been readying herself at the helm to plunge Yahoo into digital news for some time. (Last year, Katie Couric was also added to the payroll.)
Yahoo’s refurbishing plans are particularly unique in terms of their advertising strategy. Rather than bombarding users with common banner ads, the online mags will subtly fuse traditional glossy-mag advertisements with Yahoo’s content, which are much more valuable.
“We have been hard at work re-imagining Yahoo’s core businesses across search, communications, media, and video–all powered by two powerful platforms, Flickr and Tumblr,” Mayer said. “We found our inspiration in magazines,” she added, “they are elegant, beautiful, and have a distinctive voice.”
She also presented plans for Yahoo News Digest that will amass online news for mobile users twice a month. The platform will be delivered on the mobile news aggregator Summly, acquired by Yahoo in 2013. Likewise, Mayer mentioned the purchase of the app Aviate that helps organize mobile user’s smartphones based on their practices.