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But, exactly how much more is unclear. It is "a broad partnership with Yahoo to share content, advertising and technology."
One goal is to have the content of these newspapers tagged and optimized for searching and indexing by Yahoo. Woo! That's doesn't sound very exciting to me.
Google signed 50 papers a few weeks ago in an equally vague deal.
“There has been a big question asked for a while as to how newspapers will navigate the online future,” said William Dean Singleton, vice chairman and chief executive of MediaNews Group, one of the members of the consortium. “I think this is the answer to that question," Singleton said, showing that at least he, and probably others, remain clueless.
The reporter said, "During the next year, the partnership will be extended as newspapers begin displaying their news articles and local ads on Yahoo’s online network." (vs Yahoo's off line network?)
Maybe Yahoo is the paper's new webmaster? According to the article, "Yahoo...will make available local event listings, maps, search technology and other content and tools on the newspapers’ Web sites. Yahoo will also use its technology to help newspaper sell online ads."
The arrangement “gives us the ability to monetize our content, an ability that we have not had great success with in the past,” Mr. Singleton said. (Headline: Local newspaper's web sites will no longer stink quite as much.)
The alliance “plays right into the strategy of wanting to be the largest and most comprehensive ad platform out there,” Sue Decker, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Yahoo told the NYT. “We believe that the way to achieve that objective is to partner with great brands.”
Yahoo executives emphasized the importance of the local and classified advertising market, which they said is expected to grow to $12.4 billion by 2010, from $3.4 billion this year.
Newspapers to sell ads for Yahoo.
Internet media company Yahoo Inc. said on Monday at least seven U.S. newspaper groups will use its technology to sell advertising and offer search functions on the Internet sites of more than 150 dailies.
Yahoo aims to expand its reach into local markets, viewed as a key growth channel for the newspaper industry as it faces circulation declines and a migration of readers to the Internet and other media.
Yahoo in ad partnership with U.S. newspaper groups [today.reuters.co.uk]
"We believe the local segment is largely untapped and provides significant opportunities to expand audience engagement and subsequently grow local advertising," Yahoo Chief Executive Terry Semel said.
I see this as a major development for Yahoo Local. Neither Yahoo nor Google Local has had even a fraction of the content (events, restaurant reviews, local news, etc) of a free local weekly... and the local papers didn't have the web infrastructure to make their content accessible and useful online.
This is the phone book, user reviews, news, and interactive advertising all rolled up into one and potentially cross-referenced, with enough critical mass to build momentum.
The pendulum for local classified has swung widely in just the past 12-24 months. I can usually find 4-5 times as many listings for Yard Sales, Estate Sales, etc.. for any given Saturday or Sunday alone on CL, (many weekends the section in the local paper has only 1 or 2... or none).
Oh, yeah, and CL is free and ad free, (except for job's and housing related ads which they do charge for in a few of their larger markets).
Regardless, I am glad to see Yahoo! making moves.