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  • theshorter theshorter Feb 9, 1998 10:49 AM Flag

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    INTERVIEW-Yahoo!(NASDAQ:YHOO) to offer services,eyes Spain

    Reuters, Monday, February 09, 1998 at 03:39

    By Marcel Michelson
    CANNES, France, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Internet company Yahoo!
    (NASDAQ:YHOO) Inc, which started as a search engine, now aims to
    create communities on the net and compete with online service
    providers such as America Online as well as with publishers.
    Heather Killen, vice-president international at Yahoo!, told
    Reuters the company planned to expand its geographic spread and
    would target the Spanish speaking communities next.
    As a media company, Yahoo! offers audiences, based on
    culture, demography or interests, to advertisers and merchants.
    The bigger the audiences, the better the pay-off.
    Killen said she did not agree with statements from people
    saying Europe or Freance was lagging behind the U.S. in Internet
    development.
    "I could not disagree more," she said. "The traffic we do in
    our French company is at the same level as what we do in Germany
    and the U.K."
    "As far as doing business is concerned, actual transactions,
    that is trailing on traffic, but that is as you would expect."
    "You have to demonstrate that there is an audience out there
    before people will see it as a major distribution channel."
    "A good old media principle. You create an environment, where
    people want to come and consume information and services. And
    then you provide marketers with access to that audience."
    "We sell advertising and we also increasingly directly sell
    to merchants access to that audience," she added.
    Killen said she believed Yahoo! helped create audiences --
    people connecting to the Internet -- by being available in local
    languages in local markets.
    "We're going to extend our range, geographically and also try
    to deepen our product offering in those markets. It's important
    to offer users in 1998 a 1998 experience."
    "What you will see us do increasingly is provide services to
    users that will allow us to enter in a relationship with them.
    Yahoo! is available free on the web, it is not a subscription
    service," she said.
    "However we believe that we can create and have created a lot
    of services that make it worthwile to users to tell us something
    about themselves, through chat, through web-based e-mail,
    classified services. Have people create homepages on Yahoo."
    "Going from just a search and directory service, with
    advertising, to really creating communities online and creating
    relationships with our users, that is our big strategic step
    this year," Killen said.
    This would put Yahoo! in direct competition not only with
    other search engines -- Alta Vista, Excite! Hot Bod -- but also
    with the America Online/Compuserve (NYSE:AOL) combination as well
    as publishers which are spreading to the net, such as France's
    Hachette (SBF:LAGA) with its Elle magazine and website.
    Yahoo! does not provide Internet access. America Online does
    and Lagardere, the owner of Hachette, has its Club Internet for
    access.
    But Yahoo! does not need to provide access now that an
    increasing number of telecommunications companies are offering
    Internet access and are looking for content to go with it.
    Last month, Yahoo! teamed up with MCI Communications Inc
    (NASDAQ:MCIC) to rival America Online in the U.S. residential market
    from March.


 
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