ABC News Joins Forces with Yahoo! News, But Will it be Enough to Save Yahoo! from Certain Death?
Or will Yahoo! destroy ABC's value?
Now Yahoo! is attempting to restore value to the firm by joining forces with ABC News, the Disney-owned (NYSE: DIS) media enterprise.
Referred to by the two companies as a “strategic alliance,” Yahoo! News and ABC News claim that the deal will “enhance and transform the delivery of news and information across the digital landscape.”
The kicker might very well rest within the numbers: Yahoo! News and ABC News reach a combined audience of more than 100 million people in the U.S. each month.
“Yahoo! is committed to building the richest set of premium and personalized content experiences for our users,” said Ross Levinsohn, executive vice president of Americas at Yahoo! “Our deep collaboration with ABC News further strengthens Yahoo! as the No. 1 online news source, greatly enhancing our already robust news content. ABC News and Ben Sherwood's vision is completely symbiotic with ours; together we can create highly engaging experiences for more than 100 million users a month that will set the standard for the industry.”
Set the standard, huh? While I will admit that Yahoo's main page is a decent hub for a wide variety of news content – and is vastly superior to the crime-heavy monotony of AOL (NYSE: AOL) – Yahoo! isn't exactly the first place people go for breaking news content. For better or worse, content aggregators like the Huffington Post are doing much better.
As for ABC News, I'm not sure what the company stands to gain. While the two companies claim that this “unmatched alliance creates a powerful news experience that provides people greater access to compelling news and information, including more original news video online than ever before,” there's no reason why ABC News couldn't have accomplished this on its own. Why join forces with a failing website? Why throw away your profits by sharing them with a company that might not be around in 10 years?
Of course, one has to wonder if this is all part of a long-term acquisition plan. While the AOL-Yahoo! merger turned out to be nothing more than wishful thinking by those who stood to benefit most from such a deal, it is wholly possible that ABC – or even its parent company, Disney – sees this as an opportunity to slowly take control of Yahoo!
What would be the purpose of that? I'm not sure. But if readers, viewers, and a greater worldwide reach is what ABC is after, Yahoo! could provide that. At least, that's what ABC believes – otherwise the company wouldn't have made today's agreement.
The deal kicks off today with the debut of GoodMorningAmerica.com, which immediately redirects to gma.yahoo.com. This will be joined by three new video series that the companies say will debut online first, hinting that they may appear on ABC television at some point in the future.
Newsmakers (a new interview series) will begin this afternoon at 2:35 p.m. EDT when George Stephanopoulos interviews President Obama.
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