Reading the news on Yahoo! News in the morning today, I saw an ad for Yahoo! VideoGames, and clicked on it, only to discover a very good looking and comprehensive site about videogames. It was much more organized and eye-friendly than Gamespot, and covered all the consoles, handhelds, and PC configurations. Yahoo! even has its own video game reviews/discussion show called “Reset”.
This made me wonder. Is Yahoo! the next big media company? They have been in the Internet business ever since it took birth, and have invented a lot of the stuff/ideas we have come to live with. The Internet is a carrier of voice calls, videos, music, and gradually even television today. Where is Yahoo! in all this?
1. Yahoo! owns Dialpad, a VoIP telephony provider. It plans to include dialpad technology into Yahoo! Messenger to provide global calling plans for only a couple cents a minute.
2. Yahoo! owns Launch/Yahoo! Music, one of the fastest growing music subscription services.
3. Yahoo! acquired broadcast.com in 1999, aiming to target corporate marketers, and financial analysis media outlets.
4. Yahoo! provides exclusive live audio/video webcasts of college sports on a paid subscription basis.
5. Yahoo! provides a suit of comprehensive domain registration, hosting, and small business solutions.
Finally, Yahoo! has some of the best software developers on their payroll, which distinguishes them from rival Google, which hasn’t come out with one good client based software other than Google Earth. Yahoo! has consistently been bringing good software (Music, messenger, Maps API, etc.) to the end-users.
Another thing seems to be Yahoo!’s emphasis on basing their technology/products on actual user experience. They believe in a more human managed approach to bringing the best of the web to users (del.icio.us, Flickr, MyWeb2; all of which are based on tagging).
Not all their acquisitions have worked in their favor though, and they have actually been known to make a lot of their acquisitions non user-friendly in the past (egroups, flickr, etc.), but they are changing it for the better. Also, most of their new services (Yahoo! Answers, Maps Beta) are a step above what the nearest competitor provides.
Truly interesting times indeed…and the best part is that I see very little hype in Yahoo!’s efforts.