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In My Own Words - Why Yahoo! is a Mobile Player

Posted: 20th of October, 2011
At the risk of stating the obvious: in the Internet business, mobile is huge. At the risk of stating a fact that many people seem not to understand as obvious: Yahoo is huge in mobile.

With the headlines around our company recently, I understand why many pundits want to weigh in with their own ideas and storylines about Yahoo!. Yahoo is both an iconic brand and a major Internet player. In fact, with 680 million users globally, we are the premier digital media company in the world. So it makes sense that everyone has an opinion on Yahoo!. But when it comes to mobile, I think some of the prevailing opinions haven’t been capturing the full picture. So, in my own words, I feel compelled to offer my perspective on why Yahoo is a major mobile player.

First off, though, who am I? Good question. My name is Paul Cushman. I’m very proud to have worked at Yahoo for the past four years as head of mobile ad sales. I’ve been in mobile advertising for 11 years. In that time, I’ve witnessed the amazing evolution of the mobile Web first hand. When reports like this week’s from IDC predict that mobile Internet users will exceed those from traditional PC channels by 2015, it’s exciting for me, because it’s a vision I’ve believed in for a long time. It’s also a world in which Yahoo will absolutely have a major role to play globally.

In fact, we’ve been a major player for years. Did you know that Yahoo reaches 56 million unique mobile web users a month in the US alone? That’s 51% reach for the overall US mobile market. That makes us the #3 mobile brand. If Yahoo mobile were a website on a PC, its audience would be larger than ESPN or LinkedIn. That’s a.) not too shabby and b.) a position we believe we’re primed to improve.

No one has the combination of audience size, innovation, mobile partnerships, or support of CMO-level client relationships we have at Yahoo!. As a salesperson who wants to help advertisers make an impact on mobile, it’s a thrill to work at this company.

If you still have your doubts, and because everyone likes lists, here’s my recap of the impact Yahoo has had on mobile:

- We were the first major search company to launch a search product designed for mobile FIRST: that was oneSearch in 2007.
- Yahoo Go was an awesome product, way ahead of the market when it first launched in January 2006 (18 months before the iPhone!). It enabled email, uploading photos, mapping, search via Yahoo’s oneSearch and Yahoo Answers service, stock quotes, and breaking news.
- We were ahead of the curve integrating interactive rich media ads onto search results pages for mobile, which delivered a 15 times increase in click-through rates.
- We have more than 100 partnerships in mobile around the world, and recently AT&T made Yahoo its homepage on all Android and RIM devices.
- Yahoo is the #1 U.S. mobile property in Finance and Entertainment, and #2 in five other categories.
- Yahoo Weather AND Finance are built-in iPhone experiences.
- Yahoo Sportacular is in the “iPhone Hall of Fame” and 40% of our Fantasy Football audience, which broke all kinds of traffic records this past opening weekend for the NFL, accesses our site from mobile devices.
- And then there are all the cool ads we’ve run on our mobile homepage, including our “Rango” campaign for Paramount where Rango the chameleon changes color when you swipe. That’s mobile innovation in ad creative and interaction.

Sometimes I think we at Yahoo are a little too humble in promoting our achievements – mobile and otherwise. I fully realize we’re not without challenges, but from my vantage point, we have a tremendous amount of new innovation, products, and ad solutions in the works for this fall and beyond, and a lot of committed Yahoos like me who want to continue making a difference.

Cheers,
Paul Cushman
Still Proud to be a Yahoo!
 
Editor’s Note: This article is the first in a series entitled, “In My Own Words,” that will give Yahoo employees the opportunity to share their own stories about Yahoo!. Feel like yodeling your own? Post your Yahoo story on your social networks using the hashtag #myYahoostory.