Addressing the Rights Holders

At the recent SIIA (Software & Information Industry Association) conference, many traditional publishers heard Yahoo! appeal directly to their interests. Yahoo’s Scott Moore explained that more than 80-90% of their content comes from licensing. He touted visitor access to great branded content, and the benefits for publishers.

While Moore was aiming to please, there’s no mistaking that Yahoo competes with publishers. Yahoo’s top priority is to improve site engagement, by encouraging visitors to stick around before heading to publisher sites and resources. Yahoo can draw on some of its own editorial and user-generated functionality too.

By contrast, these SIIA publishers are off-line powerhouses who often struggle to attract their own site visitors. They have cut licensing deals with Yahoo (and others) to expose their content elsewhere, via these portals.

Yahoo’s success with social tools creates a wider gap that’s not going to close soon. John Blossom stated this best: “The ability to aggregate both content and communities gives [Yahoo] a powerful edge over most traditional media brands.”

Since Yahoo! has long-standing deals with many SIIA-member companies, Moore seemed to know a lot of people he addressed. Thus I’m not sure why he spent time touting Yahoo’s content and capabilities, in a way that was making publishers green with envy. Is this how you treat your friends?

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