Yahoo fails to impress with digital magazines

A year ago, Yahoo, struggling to turn its ad business around, kicked off a string of digital “magazines” run by big-name print journalists like David Pogue and Joe Zee, writes Lucia Moses from Digiday.

It was an understandable attempt to pitch digital ads at high rates by making advertisers believe they could get the same quality and reach online of glossy print magazines. But a year into the experiment, advertisers are still cool on the concept, complaining that Yahoo has yet to deliver the kind of audience scale the portal used to hang its hat on.

“It’s not something that’s been on the radar,” said Alan Smith, chief digital officer at media agency Assembly, citing a lack of audience.

Yahoo started its magazine endeavor in January 2014 with Food and Tech and has continued the roll-out right up until last month, when it put out its thirteenth vertical, Autos.

Of Yahoo’s verticals launched in 2014, some have in less than a year accumulated audiences that are far bigger than traditional publishers that have been around for decades. Health and Parenting topped 17 million unique visitors in March, according to comScore. Style captured around 15 million and Movies, nearly 14 million.

But for a portal like Yahoo (Yahoo, in partnership with ABC News, reaches 130 million uniques), those are very small numbers in Internet terms. Travel was fourth in comScore’s travel-information category. Rolled up, Beauty & Style ranked No. 5 in its category, as did Parenting. The rest ranked seventh or eighth in their categories.

Read the full article here.