First came the announcement that David Pogue is leaving The New York Times to start a new chapter at Yahoo. Now comes news that Katie Couric is coming on board as well. "Sources said that Couric is now close to completing a deal to put a Web interview show right on Yahoo’s home page." As CEO Marissa Meyers continues to put her stamp on Yahoo, it has become clear that she too regards content as king. Original, exclusive content that drives viewership and grows ad revenue.
That established old media stars like Katie Couric (broadcast television) and David Pogue (newspapers) are moving to digital platforms follows a path of using branded content to attract users to new platforms. Last month, Walt Mossberg announced that he too was leaving the printed world of The Wall Street Journal to start his own website. Perhaps Meyers can convince Mossberg that his talents can best be merchandized with the backing of the Yahoo brand.
Using content to drive adoption and usage is an important strategy that demonstrates just how important content is to a platform's success. It is not just that you build a site but that you house it with meaningful content that consumers will seek out. And branded, well known, credible content is far easier to market than unknown, untested content. Certainly, both can survive and prosper, but branded, established content potentially comes with a built in base of consumers that will follow the path to a new platform. And that is certainly what Yahoo expects to happen.