I generally previewed this way back in December 2013 in Marissa Mayer's Biggest Game Changer Yet and then, with considerable specificity, in this past April's Yahoo! Should Stream Taylor Swift's Next Tour.
At the second link, I methodically detail why and how Yahoo! should proceed with Swift. At this point, there's no question in my mind Marissa Mayer and the team at Yahoo! Screen are following my blueprint. While it would not surprise me if there's a deal already in place, I would be beyond stunned if Yahoo! doesn't wind up parlaying what will be smashing success on Aug. 18 into a full-blown partnership with Swift. For optimal impact -- that would be an ad- and subscription-supported live stream of Swift's sure-to-be upcoming tour in support of her forthcoming record.
As I explain in Why Firing Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Would Be a Dumb Move, Mayer wasn't hired to mind Yahoo!'s stagnant advertising business on a quarterly basis. The Yahoo! board made Mayer CEO with the big picture in mind. Yahoo! cannot become a growth story again without channels that foster fresh new lines of revenue. As such, Mayer doesn't have her sights set on getting you to click an additional ad when you come to Yahoo! for the current temperature or a stock quote. Instead, she's looking to differentiate Yahoo!'s streaming media offerings from the competition.
Yahoo! Screen has already accomplished step one in this process via its partnership with Live Nation (LYV) to live stream one concert per day for 365 days. A mega-deal with Swift -- beyond this Aug. 18 date -- would open the floodgates for acts of all sizes to partner with Yahoo! on ad-supported and/or subscription access to individual shows and entire tours.
A handful of very good startups notwithstanding, Yahoo! has moved first in the live concert streaming space. It's going to sneak up on the world -- and Google (GOOG), who dropped the ball big time -- as a billion dollar business that will take Yahoo! to the next level. I'm working on the numbers to show how live concert streaming ads up to a billion dollar business. And I will publish them in an article later this week or next at TheStreet.
If Yahoo! plays its cards right here -- and I think it will -- we'll see even more upside in the stock over the next two years. But this time Mayer, not Alibaba, will be able to take full credit.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.
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