Yahoo outlines road map post Flurry and Brightroll acquisitions

Yahoo is looking to extend its reach for search and mobile market share having rolled out a mobile developer suite that unites both Yahoo and Flurry products to help monetise apps.

The company has previously highlighted mobile, video, native and social media as the core growth areas for its business, and revenue across those areas now accounts for £1.2bn of its total revenue.

Throughout 2015 it will focus on “continuing that momentum” according to Bridge, which has seen it start with integrating Yahoo search and native ad units into its Flurry propostion.

Speaking to The Drum, Yahoo’s head of international marketing Robert Bridge said Flurry’s mobile analytics is already integrated into 600,000 apps and 1.6 billion smartphones - the equivalent of half of all apps in the app stores.

“Yahoo search can be put into the apps for developers using the Flurry SDK – so that helps the developers make money, which is always an issue, via paid search. And also importantly it keeps the user within the app – so instead of linking out to a different app it keeps them within their app. Search is still a big focus for us, and this is a great opportunity for us to extend Yahoo search beyond our network and into the longer tail of the mobile world,” he said.

Native advertising formats, designed to blend in well with Yahoo’s editorial, have been part of its advertising packages for several years, accounting for 44 per cent of all its ads served. Bridge added that the performance of these formats champion all regular display – with click-through rates four times higher.

It has also integrated its native ad unit Gemini into the Flurry offering, giving developers access to its native ad mobile units which can also help them monetise their apps.

Meanwhile, video is fast becoming a core marketing battleground and is an area Yahoo has also extended to mobile developers, having opened up Brightroll inventory for them to incorporate into apps.

“Brightroll is the biggest video ad network in the US and second biggest in the UK, so it’s a big play for us on the video side, and mobile video is now so important for us we are seeing over 50 per cent of {Brightroll] video ads being streamed on mobile.

Marketing priorities for the coming year will see it continue to grow its 575 million-strong global mobile user base, and driving downloads in international markets. Meanwhile continuing to grow Tumblr will also be a core focus, according to Bridge.

He stressed the importance of branded content shelf life on Tumblr, particularly in comparison to Facebook.

“Tumblr continues to grow incredibly organically and is at 440 million monthly users per month. The engagement rate on Tumblr is higher than any social network – it’s 16 minutes per session – which is more than Facebook. Our belief is this offers content marketing and earned media opportunities that none of the other social networks offer,” he added.

“If you look at Facebook sharing posts in-feed means it has a much more limited shelf life – it disappears as soon as it has gone into the feed. Tumblr is more likely to be seen – 30 per cent of the ads are likely to be seen 30 days after posted. It also bubbles up onto Yahoo.”

It is also planning to roll out its Yahoo Live music streaming service to the UK, which will open up further opportunities for advertisers, according to Bridge. This sees live concerts streamed on Yahoo’s platform every night, and has had sponsors such as Sprintz and Pizza Hut in the US.

“That’s something we are looking to bring to Europe. It has been very successful in the US and we like the model of Yahoo as a destination for live music,” he added.

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