Called the Yahoo News XR Partner Program, publishers like USA Today, Reuters, The Associated Press, Time and NowThis will work with Verizon Media’s first 5G production studio to produce content in new formats, which will be distributed on Yahoo News.
The new formats are called “extended reality,” or XR, which can include augmented reality (AR), augmented virtuality (AV) and virtual reality (VR).
The partner program was announced at Verizon Media’s NewFront on Tuesday night.
Yahoo News will distribute, measure and monetize XR content created through the program, providing its partners with insight and scale.
Assets will be monetized with augmented reality ads produced by RYOT, Verizon Media's content studio and innovation lab.
Alex Wallace, general manager of news, entertainment and studios at Verizon Media, said this program will “accelerate the development of extended reality content from our trusted news partners," as well as offer its audiences "next-generation journalism."
Yahoo News’ first offering from the project will include an AR feature story from the U.S. Southern border, to explore immigration and border issues. Yahoo News will also publish an immersive feature on a crew of California firefighters as they prep for battling wildfires.
Sue Brooks, managing director and product development and agency strategy at Reuters, said this partnership “provides "an opportunity to explore new ways of presenting, sharing and monetizing" its journalism.
Yahoo News claims to have over 100 million monthly visitors who come to the site for a mix of content — original and investigative reporting, digital video and aggregated articles from other publishers.
Yahoo News has been led by editor-in-chief Daniel Klaidman since 2014. He was previously national political correspondent at The Daily Beast and managing editor of Newsweek.
With a team of about 15 news reporters, Yahoo News has an impressive roster of stories it has broken, from rare interviews with George Conway and Steve Bannon to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s controversial security clearances. Most of Yahoo News’ scoops center around politics and the White House.
With a storied background in magazine reporting, Klaidman admitted to Publishers Daily in an interview that is is “harder to keep attention” online compared to magazine publishing, but Yahoo News’ mix of content offerings and its integration with Verizon Media fuels the breaking news and enterprise reporting Klaidman encourages among his team.
The goal is to “demystify politics to our larger audience,” to make it more “accessible," Klaidman said.
Last year, Yahoo News launched the podcast “Skullduggery,” hosted by Klaidman and chief investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff. Isikoff was formerly national investigative correspondent for NBC News and investigative correspondent at Newsweek.
“Skullduggery” focuses on the scandals in the era of President Trump. Klaidman said the goal is to continue to break news on the podcast, which has peaked at 1.9 million listens.
Guests have included Eric Holder, Preet Bharara, Bill Weld, Amy Klobuchar and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.
Klaidman said a branding consultant found that readers were “frustrated by the firehose of news,” and were “craving different perspectives.” Audiences want to be able to “cobble together” news from different sides and sources.
Yahoo News claims to be the largest aggregator of news, with “dozens” of partners, according to a spokesperson. But the curation comes from human editors, not an algorithm, Klaidman points out.
“We have aggregated feeds, but our editors choose which stories to publish,” he said.
Yahoo News is making an effort to expand its social presence. It recently hired two social-media editors to help promote its original reporting, especially articles that break news.
Yahoo News has a combined social following of 9 million, with 7.9 million Facebook followers.