ABC/Yahoo!
ABC/Yahoo! - 
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Marketplace

Kai Ryssdal: There's big happenings in the business of media news today: ABC News and Yahoo are going to team up online. ABC'll provide original content for the web, featuring the likes of Katie Couric, Barbara Walters and the rest of the ABC cast.

Despite its troubles, Yahoo is still the number one place people go for news content online. But to keep that audience happy, you gotta give 'em something to click on.

Marketplace's Jennifer Collins reports on the return of content as king.


Jennifer Collins: The online news business is tough, and I'm not just talking about reporting. Your original news story can easily be reused by someone else, whose site then gets traffic and ad revenue.

Will Richmond of consulting firm Broadband Directions says that's what makes the ABC deal so important -- it goes beyond the headlines.

Will Richmond: ABC, by leveraging its personalities, adds a little bit of entertainment value to the news product.

But why would ABC go to Yahoo for this deal? Yahoo recently fired its CEO and there's been talk it's trying to sell itself. In a video promoting the partnership, Diane Sawyer says ABC could increase its online audience five-fold.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Diane Sawyer: To be able to reach and engage and interact and share stories with more than 100 million Americans? It's more than just exciting -- it's a game changer.

Bernard Gershon, a digital strategist and former excutive at ABC, says web traffic doesn't happen by itself: something attracts it.

Bernard Gershon: The high-quality content is not going to come out of outer space.

Analyst Alan Gould of Evercore Partners says this deal demonstrates how important original content for the Internet has become, with so many sites competing for your attention.

Alan Gould: As long as there's multiple players trying to buy unique content, it's nice to own that content.

How long Yahoo remains its own company -- that's another matter.

I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

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