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What Is Yahoo’s Business? May 12, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.

Buzzmachine captures and interprets an interview with Yahoo ceo Terry Semel. If you forgive the fact that Jeff Jarvis is a little too smitten with citizen journalism and consumer control, his takes seem on the money.

    What is Yahoo’s business, Auletta asks. “Our fundamental business is selling advertising… Our fundamental business is that we license content from around the world… and we sell advertising.” I always say that Yahoo is the last old-media company and this indicates that. In a distributed world, is aggregating content to sell advertising on a mass scale the real model for the future? What about distributed networks with control at the edge? (See: Google.) What about the value of relationships over content? (See: MySpace.) Semel is the last guy who will exploit the old model. He will succeed at that, because he has scale going in and does not have the legacy limitations and costs of old media. But there won’t be a dozen more Yahoos.
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