Yahoo + AOL = Oath, for some reason

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 Verizon’s long-promised Yahoo acquisition has a name. And it, for some reason, is Oath. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong acknowledged the strange new branding on Twitter earlier today after word leaked out that the four-letter word was set to become the love child of the forthcoming AOL-Yahoo merger. Read More

April 4th 2017 yahoo

Weekly Roundup: Claims surface on Trump’s dealings with Russia, Yahoo splits into Altaba

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marissa mayer As part of the Verizon acquisition, Yahoo has split itself into an investment unit called Altaba and is now waiting for Verizon to undertake its remaining assets. Amazon announced a plan to create 100,000 U.S. jobs, and memos about Trump’s dealings with Russia surfaced this week. You can receive this post in your inbox by signing up here. Read More

January 14th 2017 Facebook, yahoo

Marissa Mayer resigning from Yahoo board as remaining company renames itself Altaba

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marissa-mayer15 Despite hiccups, Yahoo’s planned sale to Verizon appears to be moving forward — but some portions of the company will be left behind and renamed Altaba Inc.
Yahoo is hanging on to its 15 percent stake in Alibaba and its 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan, and those assets will survive as an investment company under the new name Altaba Inc., as the rest of Yahoo integrates with Verizon. Read More

January 10th 2017 security, yahoo

Yahoo introduces ‘Answers Now’ app, but will users respond?

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The company hopes to address historical quality problems with a matching algorithm.

The post Yahoo introduces ‘Answers Now’ app, but will users respond? appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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December 10th 2016 yahoo

Yahoo 2016 Year in Review: ‘2016 Election’ top search term & ‘Election Day’ No. 1 news story

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Yahoo says “Donald Trump” ranked as its second most popular search of the year, while “Hillary Clinton” barely made the top 10.

The post Yahoo 2016 Year in Review: ‘2016 Election’ top search term & ‘Election Day’ No. 1 news story appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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December 8th 2016 yahoo

Weekly Roundup: Galaxy Note 7 recalled, Amazon’s music service and Verizon/Yahoo sale troubles

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marissa-mayer-writing Things were pretty bleak for tech companies this week as the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was officially recalled and Yahoo’s securities woes reportedly drove Verizon to request a $1 billion discount on its pending acquisition. Here are the top stories from around the tech universe to get you up to speed. Read More

October 15th 2016 Facebook, yahoo

Why This NBA Champion Thinks Esports Stars ‘Are the Next Generation of Athletes’

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There will come a day when watching an NFL, NBA or MLB game won't be a passive experience for most. With the rise of esports and fantasy components, the big leagues are evolving and marketers are increasingly signing on for the ride.

At the Yahoo-sponsored Advertising Week session Go Live: The Shift to Live Video, several members of team Yahoo talked up the virtues of livestreaming news, sports and finance.

Yahoo's head of esports Travis Gafford talked about the company's partnership with General Mills to produce Yahoo Esports Live, an hour-long weekly live show which premiered earlier this month.

Gafford also introduced NBA star Rick Fox, who now runs esports organization Echo Fox. Fox talked about how esports was a connector to his son, who is both a millennial and a cord-cutter. "I truly believe that these esports stars are the next generation of athletes," said Fox, himself a 3-time NBA champion.

After Fox purchased Echo Fox, the Philadelphia 76ers today became the first American professional sports franchise to invest in esports. The NBA team announced it bought esports franchises Dignitas and Apex and will combine the two powerhouse squads.

In its 11th season, the 90-minute Fantasy Football Live Now is Yahoo Sports' longest-running livestreaming show. Yahoo Sports produces 120 fantasy football videos every week, according to fantasy football analyst Liz Loza. Loza thinks the future of livestreaming sports will include live game analysis with a fantasy angle, rather than just a play-by-play analysis of a specific game.

"For my 7-year-old daughter, livestreaming is the only thing she knows," added Yahoo chief revenue officer Lisa Utzschneider.

"We aspire to meet consumers' expectations by providing content to wherever they are," said Utzschneider, who boasted about the company's 400 annual live sports events, three daily live financial market shows, as well as Yahoo News Live, hosted by Katie Couric, who will be anchoring coverage of the first 2016 presidential debate tonight

Yahoo Finance editor in chief Andy Serwer broke the news that Yahoo will once again partner with Berkshire Hathaway to livestream the annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders meeting in May.

September 27th 2016 Technology, video, yahoo

Weekly Roundup: Apple’s auto rumors, GoPro’s new devices and CZI’s $3B pledge

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chan zuck This week, Yahoo came clean about a 2014 hack, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan announced a huge investment to cure disease, rumors swirled around possible car tech acquisitions for Apple and the AI startup space continued to heat up with a few chat bot acquisitions. These are the top stories of the week. Read More

September 24th 2016 apple, Google, iphone, yahoo

What’s in a Name? For Yahoo, Too Much and Not Enough

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Once the dust settles from last week's news of the final nail in the coffin for Yahoo, one of the web's original pioneers, we'll undoubtedly have a thousand reasons to consider why Big Purple failed.

Julia Beardwood

Chief among them are surely: failure to properly capitalize on and monetize advertising and search, failure to purchase Google when it had the chance, failure to accept Microsoft's buyout offer when it had the chance, failure to decide whether it was a media company or a technology company, and failure to chart a clear direction when the whole world shifted from desktop to mobile—and then once again to social. However, we branding folks can't help but think the company's poor choice of name might have also been a contributor to Yahoo's downfall.

I'm not saying Yahoo could never have succeeded with that name, but when I hear the name, I can't help but think about the Johnny Cash hit, "A Boy Named Sue." In the song, the father names the boy Sue, then leaves. Sue endures years of taunts about his feminine name before finally locating his dad and beating him up. The father's explanation is that he knew the name would bring Sue grief but would make him "get tough or die," something Yahoo was never able to manage in the long run.

The stark difference between "Sue" and Yahoo is when the company was launched with that crazy name and logo, which even included an exclamation point at the end [editor's note: we dropped it years ago], the world was turning upside down with the promise of the World Wide Web, and the name and brand put it right at the center of the action. It made perfect sense. It was 1994, and Jerry Yang and David Filo transformed "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web" into a search engine site with an acronym for a rambunctious "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle." Yang and Filo also liked the actual definition of a yahoo, meaning "rude, unsophisticated, uncouth."

However, it was very much of the moment and lacked the timelessness sustainable brand names need. And it ultimately helped doom the company.

The word yahoo is literally an interjection of a moment of joy—fulfilling an early promise of the internet and web search in general. However, it can also mean yokel or lout, and it potentially weighed the brand down forever with a great big negative.

The name itself is also a bit childish, but you could also say the same thing about Google. The first time I heard that name, it sounded a lot like "giggle." But the massive difference between the two names is that behind the word Google, there's a story. It's a play on the word "googol," a mathematical term to describe 10 raised to the power of 100 or a 1 with 100 zeros following it—reflecting Larry Page and Sergey Brin's overall mission to organize a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web. By contrast, Yahoo! quite simply lacked an interesting backstory beyond a rebellious, silly and dated acronym.

A mediocre name cannot alone stand in the way of a well-run company that's a runaway success with customers, but a well-crafted, timeless name can certainly help matters. Last week, Brand Keys released its 2016 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, an examination of customers' relationships with 635 leading brands in 72 categories. I find it fascinating that such a disproportionate number of brands that top these categories begin with only a small handful of letters of the alphabet. Several begin with the letter A—including (no surprise) wildly successful tech giants Alphabet, Apple and Amazon. None of these sound childish or make us think of a negative. Rather, each of them connects to a powerful brand story behind the name. The letter S is also well represented in the rankings, with Salesforce, Square and Samsung all making the top 20.

But there's one name among the S brands that stands out: Slack. To older generations, the word slack has several negative connotations, such as loose, a lack of work, unprofessional, a slacker. In contrast, it may mean something entirely different to millennials—pick up the slack, easygoing, or dare I say, cool.

About a decade ago, Yahoo! Marketing released the campaign slogan "Do You Yahoo!?" trying desperately to make Yahoo a verb. It obviously never caught on. The other day I heard a group of millennials, unaided by any marketing campaign, as a natural part of their conversation actually saying to each other, "Slack me that."

Yahoo has certainly reached the end of its wild ride, where Slack's has only just begun. It will be interesting to see whether it becomes the next Yahoo or the next Google.

Julia Beardwood (@juliabeardwood) is Partner at Beardwood&Co, a New York-based strategy and branding firm, which she founded in 2004.
 

August 1st 2016 Search, Technology, yahoo

Verizon Has Reportedly Bought Yahoo for $4.8 Billion

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Yahoo, once as big of an internet company as one could find, has been sold to Verizon Communications for $4.8 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. Just prior to when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, the digital pioneer, at that time, had a market capitalization of some $125 billion.

The agreement is expected to be announced on Monday morning, per the Journal. 

It's an intriguing marriage on many levels when it comes to advertising, primarily because Yahoo has struggled to build its mobile ad business, while Verizon offers a wealth of data from on-the-go consumers. When Verizon bought AOL a little over a year ago, the telecom giant chiefly acquired AOL's breadth of programmatic advertising technology.

With Yahoo, it seems to mostly gain the email/search player's more than 200 million monthly users. Verizon also now owns Tumblr thanks to the Yahoo purchase, giving it a foot in the door when it comes to social media and an avid millennial user base

Perhaps the combination of Verizon (mobile data), AOL (programmatic) and Yahoo (audience) can create a digital advertising juggernaut to rival the likes of Google and Facebook. Maybe, maybe not—but that's almost certainly the idea. 

Meanwhile, The New York Times has speculated that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will garner a $55 million severance package once the acquisition is complete.

Check back with Adweek tomorrow for additional coverage.

July 25th 2016 Technology, yahoo