Yahoo Does Original Content Deal With 'The Week'

Newsweekly to Provide Daily Business News Column

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Yahoo extended its push into original content today by adding new content produced by Dennis Publishing's The Week, in a new twist for the Internet behemoth.

Yahoo's deal with 'The Week' is the latest in a growing string of arrangements that provide the portal with its own original content.
The Week will produce "The Best of Today's Business," a daily roundup of print and online business news that will appear on the Yahoo Finance page.

A first for Yahoo
Yahoo has recently hired individual writers and others to post original content, but this is the first time the company has recruited a news outlet to provide original, ongoing Yahoo-specific work.

"It's a great opportunity to reach the types of folks who would be interested in a top-level summary of business news," said Christopher Jones, director-programming, Yahoo Finance. "I think about C-level executives, people who want that daily blast before they go into their first meeting."

For Yahoo, the deal advances its ambitious program to weave more and more original content into what was once essentially a portal and search property.

Original content push
Lloyd Braun, head of the company's media group and the former head of ABC's entertainment television group, has staffed a media unit in Santa Monica, Calif., with film and TV production professionals. An adventure travel channel featuring original Yahoo-produced films went live Oct. 24. And freelance war correspondent Kevin Sites now files multimedia reports from war zones around the world.

"Advertisers are looking to the online guys like Yahoo and Google and trying to figure out how to spend more money with them," said Benjamin Schachter, analyst, UBS Securities. "Here you could argue that there are finance companies that are looking to spend money online, so Yahoo is creating interesting content for them to sponsor."

The rewards, however, remains uncertain. "One thing that people like myself are concerned about is how much investment they're making and what the return on investment might be," Mr. Schachter said.

Raises profile
For The Week, a news-roundup title introduced to the U.S. in 2001, the deal provides a chance to dramatically raise its brand awareness.

The Week claimed an average total paid circulation of 351,960 during the first six months of 2005, up 42.8% from the first half of 2004, in its publisher's statement to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Yahoo Finance attracted about 10.6 million unique visitors this September, up 11% from the nearly 9.6 million visitors that it received in September 2004, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. The Week's Web site doesn't generate enough traffic for Nielsen/NetRatings to track it.

"This is a great opportunity to extend The Week's brand, which has primarily until now been an offline brand," said Justin Smith, president of The Week. Ads promoting the magazine's Web site or offering free trial subscriptions to the print product will appear to the right of the column each day. "It's going to drive a lot of traffic to our growing Web presence," Mr. Smith said, "which is a major priority for us."

Financial terms of the one-year deal were not disclosed.

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