Commentary

EMarketer's Grim Outlook For Yahoo Ad Rev

Apparently unless you have one of those too-rich contracts at Yahoo, these are not the best of times over there.

Today, eMarketer is reporting that based on its latest ad spending forecast, Yahoo’s worldwide ad revenues will fall 13.9% this year, to $2.83 billion. 

Behind those numbers, eMarketer says Yahoo’s display business will shrink 15.1% and its search business is headed downward, by 12.7%.

All of this dreary news has caused eMarketer to adjust its forecast of Yahoo’s share of the worldwide display ad business to just 1.7%, though that’s down only from, well, just 2%. Likewise, Yahoo’s share of the global search market is expected to tumble to 1.6% from 2.1%.

Sorry to bury the Yahoo good news in the fifth paragraph but there is one significantly Up With Yahoo People prediction: Its mobile business will grow by almost 25%, to $1.31 billion according to eMarketer estimates.

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Now back to the grim news: That would be great but that's happening as Yahoo's share of the mobile market’s eyeballs shrinks to 1.3%, and Google and Facebook are more than filling the gap.

There’s been no lack of analysis about the failure of Yahoo under CEO Marissa Mayer. In fact, other executives at other places should take it as kind of a gift. Much of that nasty attention aimed at her has diverted scrutiny of jerk bosses elsewhere.

Whatever you can say about her style points, it seems to me that Mayer’s experience at up-and-coming/still-improvising Google, were enticing to Yahoo. But she may have been equipped with skills that weren’t of much use to an old brand that had an portfolio that was just half-working or over the hill. A lot of people would have failed, though not with such flair. The Internet is not real good at resurrections.

Now, Yahoo is on a shareholder-forced diet plan--Mayer has cut 15% of the staff and trimmed the ambitions of its program production area and closed many of its digital magazines.  A considerable amount of air has gone out of the Yahoo brand for good.

When Yahoo’s global editor-in-chief Martha Nelson blogged to announce the retrenchment in February, she wrote, matter of factly,  “On our recent earnings call, Yahoo outlined out a plan to simplify our business and focus our effort on our four most successful content areas  – News, Sports, Finance and Lifestyle.” That it took so long for a not-so-successful company to arrive at that realization--hey, let’s do more of what works, less of what doesn’t--must say a lot about why Yahoo is where it is.


pj@mediapost.com

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