Update: Yahoo has followed up with The Next Web, and it seems that the UK launch of the app is not as imminent as it first seemed. A spokesperson said: “While we’re very excited about IntoNow in the UK, there’s no launch date, as the focus is very much on the US market.”
The Next Web is at the Guardian Changing Media Summit this week, a conference promising to deliver insights from the organisations and individuals capitalising on disruption within the digital content space. You can monitor all our coverage here.
Up this afternoon was, James Wildman, Managing Director and VP for sales at Yahoo UK and Ireland, to discuss ‘Innovation & Disruption: Future Proofing the Media Business’. Perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘data’ was a core underpinning facet of the presentation, with Wildman noting that data is the oil of the media business.
But Wildman also used this forum to to announce that IntoNow, its “TV companion experience” with synchronized news headlines, sports stats, and tweets, is coming to the UK later this year. IntoNow is currently available for iOS devices in the US only.
Whilst Yahoo has long-been usurped by Google in the search space, it has carved a pretty decent niche in the news, video and content production space, and is still one of the world’s highest-trafficked websites. Indeed, Wildman says that by acknowledging the value of deeper and more immersive content, this is how Yahoo has managed to survive (so far). In terms of the UK though, he noted that Yahoo is the preeminent digital publisher, with 14. 5m users and 4 million people visiting its homepage alone each day.
The three key take-away points were pretty succinct. Firstly, for media companies looking to survive the digital onslaught, they must use data effectively…which is why, I guess, data is the oil of the media sphere. Secondly, you have to go where a customer goes…in the same way as The Economist is effectively leveraging multiple platforms and enjoying a return to a more lean-back reading experience. The customer is ultimately king. And thirdly, Wildman says you have to invest in content…this means adding value at every turn.
Whilst these three “pillars of success” are hardly groundbreaking revelations, they’re worth heeding nevertheless. And as Wildman says, to be a successful media business, you have to be underpinned by good technology.
Yahoo’s shifting focus onto media provision could see it survive in the long term. And the so-called “second screen” business is certainly heating up, with the likes of Tweek launching in the UK, Zeebox continuing its forward surge, and now Yahoo gearing up to launch IntoNow shortly.