Yahoo is a portal. Always has been.
But portals on the Web are growing less and less relevant in an age of Twitter and Facebook.
So Yahoo needs to find a future.
Today it took a stab at it, introducing Livestand.
Basically, it’s a digital magazine rack for your iPad, full of content from Yahoo AND third-party magazines.
It’s supposed to be a “platform” not an application.
During a press conference to announce Livestand, a reporter asked if this is the eventual replacement of Yahoo.com.
Yahoo mobile VP Irv Henderson answered, “We see this as the next generation of Yahoo. Expect to see the fullforce of Yahoo behind it.”
Yahoo hopes to get revenue sharing from magazines that use the platform. It will allow publishers to sell ad inventory and charge readers subscriptions.
Livestand will launch in the first half of 2011, Henderson said on the call. It will launch with third-party magazine partners, but Yahoo didn’t want to disclose them today.
Livestand will probably launch on the iPad-only, but Henderson says Yahoo is looking at Google’s tablet OS, Honeycomb, and likes what it sees so far. Eventually, Livestand will exist on all the relevant tablets.
The immediate challenge to the platform will be whether or not magazine companies want to go through TWO middle-men, Yahoo and then Apple or Google, to get their magazines on tablets. We’ll see.
In the meantime…
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