Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer did not hold a big stick but everyone at CES 2014 listened to her keynote address at the 2014 International CES. It was Mayer's first address to the public at a major event as top executive of Yahoo and she announced several products that promises to transform Yahoo from an Internet company into a digital media powerhouse.
The former Google executive who jumped ship to join Yahoo has been working hard to help the brand recover since her first day as CEO in 2012. The company's earnings declined in recent years and missed out on opportunities that would have helped it keep up with its main competition Google.
"Yahoo is about making the world's daily habits inspiring and entertaining, and there are few places as inspiring and entertaining as CES," Mayer opened her address. "We have been hard at work re-imagining Yahoo's core businesses across search, communications, media and video -- all powered by two powerful platforms, Flickr and Tumblr. The response has been tremendous. This fall, for the first time ever, we surpassed 400 million monthly mobile users, which is about half of our 800 million total monthly users."
Yahoo acquired Aviate
Putting emphasis on how its audience make use of mobile devices, Mayer announced that the Yahoo purchased predictive computing firm Aviate that has developed products that enhanced how users interact with their smartphones. This will allow Yahoo to further innovate search and tweak the smartphone to know what its users needs. The app is still in private beta but Yahoo will open it for 25,000 initial users.
Yahoo News Digest
Mayer was joined by Nick D'Aloisio who announced the reincarnation of Summly that he created when he was 15, through Yahoo News Digest. The new app, which summarizes news stories and send them out as daily digests to mobile devices twice a day, is now available for iPhone and iPod touch users. The new product of Yahoo blends well with its goal of having technology that will cater to the daily habits of users.
Yahoo News Digest will present news items each morning and afternoon in a visually-appealing form and easily digestible summaries.
Following its series of hiring leading journalists, Yahoo unveiled Digital Magazines to focus on delivering original content to its audience. It launched two new websites, Yahoo Tech and Yahoo Food. The Digital Magazines will also help the brand magnet advertisers who want to attract mainstream audience.
Yahoo Tech will be focusing on giving non-gearheads non-geeky content to help consumers decide what devices to buy and how to escape tricky tech scenarios for the not so tech savvy. David Pogue from New York Times will lead the team and development of the website that will make use of the strengths of Tumblr and Flckr.
The Yahoo Food site will feature different recipes, culinary trends, and kitchen must-haves. Yahoo hired Sarah McColl and have a team of new hires from Bon Appetit and Huffington Post Food.
Yahoo Smart TV
During the CES 2014 keynote, the company also introduced the Yahoo Smart TV as part of its Connected TV platform. According to the company, the platform "offers interactive viewing with highly personalized program recommendations from TV, Video on Demand, and Web services, along with complementary content related to the show."
The new iteration is centered on providing updates and content recommendations for viewers utilizing its two new features, the Yahoo Smart Guide and Yahoo Smart Info.
New Advertising Suite
The company's advertising technology senior vice president Scott Burke revealed the new advertising solutions of Yahoo. The company now has a new buying platform in the form of Yahoo Ad Manager and Manager Plus. The Yahoo Audience Ads will help brands laser target the right audience while Yahoo Ad Exchange will allow premium publishers control what ads appear on their sites.
Yahoo also announced that Tumblr sponsored posts will now make use of Yahoo ads to help deliver more native ads targeting.
Mayer closed her CES 2014 debut by emphasizing that the company still takes entertainment seriously and introduced multi-Grammy awards winning singer John Legend to serenade the attendees in the packed auditorium.