Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Socceroos targeted by Yahoo!7 World Cup website

Exclusive coverage and content will increasingly be used to lure visitors to Australia's news websites, new usage data suggests. The Online Advertising Expenditure Report by the Audit Bureau of Verification Services revealed that online advertising in Australia grew more than 65 percent in the March quarter from a year earlier. For the three months to 31 March, the domestic market's value was A$195 million. The information came as newcomer Yahoo!7 unveiled an exclusive deal with the Socceroos for next month's World Cup. The site — www.yahoo7.com.au/football — plans to offer exclusive interviews with Socceroos, video highlights, live updates, official merchandise and other unique content, as well as a selection of news feeds.

Chairman of Australia's biggest media buying agency, Harold Mitchell, said the Yahoo!7 plan was just the start of a trend to use innovative and exclusive content to increase the popularity of online news sites. "It's very exciting news for the industry and a great step forward for Yahoo!7," Mitchell told Anthony Stavrinos of The Age. "It'll be a magnet for advertisers.We're now seeing the explosion of new media as a major media in its own right."

The Yahoo!7 online joint venture, struck between Yahoo! and the Seven free-to-air television network in December, has aggressively pursued exclusive content deals. Significantly, the Socceroos deal, which Yahoo!7 has not disclosed the cost of, departs from a previous tendency to use the internet as an extension of the TV network partner's programming. The Seven Network does not hold any domestic or overseas football rights.

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