During its earnings conference call Tuesday, CEO Marissa Mayer highlighted the initiative, noting that Yahoo Live broadcast more than 90 concerts in the third quarter.
It has also attracted a high-profile new advertiser. Yahoo on Thursday announced that Citi will become an official sponsor of Yahoo Live and exclusively sponsor a new behind-the-scenes interview series called “Backstagewith Citi.”
The new program, featured in the Yahoo Music’s Live Nation channel, promises in-depth artist interviews by Yahoo’s global news anchor, Katie Couric and Yahoo Music editor Lyndsey Parker.
The series kicks off today with Couric interviewing country trio Lady Antebellum, with rock band O.A.R. on deck for the second interview in November. Portions of interviews will be released through Citi Private Pass — the financial services company’s program offering card members pre-sale and preferred tickets to live events — 48 hours before posting to Yahoo.
Along with Citi branding built into The Backstage name, the site’s home page also features banner ads promoting the company’s new ThankYou Preferred rewards card. Users can earn 20,000 bonus points (worth $200 in gift cards) after making $1,500 in purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Yahoo did not disclose financial terms related to the Citi sponsorship. But in the company earnings call Tuesday, Mayer pointed to sponsorship packages for individual Yahoo Live concerts as an example of premium ad packages gaining traction with brands. However, she acknowledged the shift to programmatic advertising has put increasing pressure on its traditional brand advertising.
While Yahoo reported a 1% increase in revenue in the quarter, its display ad business continued to struggle, falling 6% from the same period a year ago.