Yahoo! Canada refocuses content strategy

Once mainly a content aggregator, Yahoo! has embarked on a new original-content strategy designed to appeal to advertisers and readers alike.


In a move that mirrors its US counterpart, Yahoo! Canada is slowly and steadily transforming itself from a content aggregator to an original content generator.

In an interview with MiC yesterday, Yahoo! Canada managing editor Derek Chezzi said that the portal is on a path toward more original content to better target its Canadian audience and create more customizable advertising opportunities for its clients. In March, Yahoo! Canada received 16.6 million unique visitors.

The website has hired five new editorial staff for its sports section and is launching an ambitious hockey strategy, with a new NHL editor, a new junior hockey section and a new junior hockey blog. The heavy push on sports has been made in the wake of the Olympics, which saw the portal make its first major push into original event coverage and celebrity columnists (such as Elvis Stojko).

Its news and finance sections are also in the midst of an original content revamp, with upcoming columns from Slice channel’s personal finance guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade and media savvy wealth adviser Andrew Pyle.

‘This basically marks a new era for Yahoo! Canada,’ Chezzi says. ‘Because up until this point, our foray into original content has been scant at best. We did a little but we were purely an aggregator. Carol Bartz, our [US-based] CEO, is an advocate of editorial and of audience and we want to create some really killer audience experiences for the people that come to the site and part of that is providing local voice on what is essentially a global brand.’

In the months ahead, Yahoo! Canada also plans to import some of the US-created Yahoo! Originals videos and create Canadian series for topics where a local angle is deemed important, Chezzi explains.

Currently, Yahoo!’s advertisers can be aligned with topical subject matter – Ally and TD Canada Trust are advertisers on the portal’s finance page – but one of the goals behind developing the new content is to build more customized opportunities, Chezzi said.

The changes to the editorial channels are part of an overall revamp of the site that publicly started in January, with the debut of the new homepage. The new homepage will be promoted to consumers with a media and marketing campaign in June 2010.