Verizon buys Yahoo’s search and advertising operations

US telecoms company, Verizon Communications has bought Yahoo’s search and advertising operations for a deal of around $4.8bn. The telecoms company will now own Yahoo’s core Internet businesses of over a billion active users a month, to become a global mobile media company.
“Verizon is progressing its transformation to become a cross-screen advertising and media group,” says Juan Jose Rio, Partner, Advisory and Investment group, Delta Partners. “Through Yahoo, Verizon is harnessing a significant number of assets, including new advertising capabilities, but most relevant is its fixed and mobile advertising properties in the search, communication and digital content space. Whilst it remains to be seen what exactly Verizon will do with this latest acquisition and all its underlying assets, including those beyond the US borders, this may lead to similar deals and acquisitions between telcos and digital companies. More deals of a similar nature may be forged in the future, with telcos looking increasingly to leverage their connectivity and data assets to become powerful digital companies.”

UM MENA releases media trends report 2016

UM MENA has released a 2016 media trends report, NEXT THING NOW, for the region. Set to become an annual fixture, the report highlights yearly trends specific to the MENA region and UM’s view of where the market is heading towards on various themes in the industry. Written by UM MENA’s media specialists, the report also features input from professionals at Coca-Cola, Google, DMS and Yahoo! It will be distributed to UM MENA clients and publishing partners around the region and will also be available online through the agency’s website by Q2 of this year.

“The report echoes the views of our media experts at UM as well as the direction in which our company is heading in the coming years when it comes to media planning and marketing solutions for our clients,” says Chris Skinner, CEO, UM MENA. “There is a definite shift in the industry but by thinking forward and adapting our approach to the future trends we can achieve maximum impact and ROI. NEXT THING NOW will provide you with necessary insights and the way forward for you as a marketer and a media professional.”

Andrew Cecil joins Burson-Marsteller

Global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller has appointed Andrew Cecil as Chairman of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Public Affairs practice. In this role, Andrew will be based in Brussels leading the agency’s practice throughout the EMEA region.

Andrew has over 20 years of international experience in senior government relations and corporate affairs. He joins Burson-Marsteller from Amazon in Brussels, where he was Director of Public Policy, leading public policy strategy and execution across Europe. A graduate of Law from the University of Bristol, Andrew holds an MBA from INSEAD Business School and has previously worked for the European Digital Media Association and Yahoo!

“I’m delighted that Andrew is joining us at a time when our business has significant momentum and opportunities for growth,” says Jeremy Galbraith, CEO, Burson-Marsteller EMEA and Global Chief Strategy Officer. “Andrew’s experience operating across Europe and his leadership of public policy at high profile companies, such as Amazon and Yahoo!, are a perfect fit for our client’s evolving needs and our business strategy of integrated communications.”

Yahoo integrates access to Flurry’s video inventory

Yahoo is integrating Flurry’s in-app video inventory into its ad platforms. Having acquired the mobile analytics and advertising company in July, the integration will allow advertisers to buy mobile video inventory on Flurry’s app network – which can be purchased at 15, 30 or 60 second interstitial ads – through Yahoo Ad Manager Plus. This encompasses display, stream ads, mobile, search video and display ad inventory.

With Flurry video ad supply now available alongside Yahoo and third-party marketplaces on Yahoo Ad Manager Plus, the Yahoo platform has become the largest provider of video ad inventory in the industry, according to an official blog post. Yahoo continues to focus on video in its strategy to reviving its ad business.

Yahoo to acquire video advertising platform

Yahoo is to buy programmatic video platform, BrightRoll, in a deal worth $640 million. According to an official blog post, the acquisition will accelerate Yahoo’s strategy to focus on search, communications and digital content through growth in mobile, social, native and specifically video advertising. With the acquisition to close in the first quarter of 2015, BrightRoll will strengthen Yahoo’s video advertising platform to make it the largest in the US, and is expected to clear $100 million in net revenue this year alone.

“Here at Yahoo, video is one of the largest growth opportunities, and BrightRoll is a terrific, strategic and financially compelling fit for our video advertising business,” says Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo. “As with every acquisition we have been extremely thoughtful about our approach to the video advertising space. The acquisition will accelerate the growth of both companies – we can help BrightRoll scale to even more advertisers globally and they can bring their tremendous platform offering to Yahoo’s advertisers. The combination builds positive momentum for Yahoo’s broader display advertising business in 2015.”

Tod Sacerdoti, CEO and Founder of BrightRoll adds, “We believe that the next step for programmatic video advertising as an industry is to extend and standardise globally, make cross-device buying simple and measurable, and complement and integrate with TV. We are excited to join Yahoo to materially advance efforts in each of these areas. We’re still in the early innings as an industry, and together, BrightRoll and Yahoo are committed to the vision of helping grow the entire video advertising ecosystem.”

Yahoo restructure reaches Dubai office

As part of Yahoo’s global efforts to ‘streamline operations’, a number of workforce reductions were implemented within its Dubai office last week, although the exact number is yet to be confirmed.

With the closure of operations in Cairo approximately one year ago, Yahoo continues to downsize it presence in the region. This latest report of restructure follows on from Yahoo’s announcement earlier this month of its plans to close its office in Amman, Jordan, by the end of 2014. While Yahoo Maktoob’s operations will now be supported from regional offices in Dubai and other locations, Yahoo’s Dubai office – which first opened in 2010 – appears to be the last remaining outpost for Yahoo in the Middle East.

Rachel McArthur joins Yahoo!

Rachel McArthur has left Explorer Publishing to commence a new role as Senior Entertainment Editor at Yahoo! Rachel, who previously worked at Emirates TodayEmirates Business 24/7 and wrote a weekly Arab entertainment column for Gulf News, will be managing the entertainment and lifestyle section covering the MENA/GCC region.

The platform has 50 million users per month regionally, and covers subjects including business, finance, sport, lifestyle and world news.

Contact rachel at / +971 (0)4 445 6380 or follow her @raychmofficial.