This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Taylor Swift Marks a Do-or-Die Moment for Yahoo!

By: Rocco Pendola | 08/22/14 - 08:09 AM EDT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Marissa Mayer has an opportunity to not only silence her critics, but make history at Yahoo! (YHOO) .

On the heels of Monday's Taylor Swift live stream, Mayer had better have a plan in place that capitalizes on the incredible buzz the event generated for Yahoo! and Yahoo! Screen.

While I have been writing about the value Taylor Swift can bring (and now has brought) to Yahoo!'s live video/music strategy for months, there's more to add. Because at this stage of the game, Mayer must roll out an all-encompassing and coherent plan that includes, builds on and extends from Swift. If not, there's a good chance Yahoo! will remain stuck in the mud, critics will rightfully ratchet up pressure on Mayer and, sooner or later, she'll be out of a job.

First, for context, see April 2014's Yahoo! Should Stream Taylor Swift's Next Tour and December 2013's Marissa Mayer's Biggest Game Changer Yet.

Second, let's break down a route Mayer could take with respect to live concert streaming. Of course, it doesn't have to go down exactly as I describe to be successful, however Mayer must focus on parlaying the Swift hype into something sustainable. This theme underlies everything that follows.

Continue With Live Nation, Start With Swift

The one concert per day for 365 days deal Yahoo! cut with Live Nation (LYV) is fantastic. However, as I explained earlier this year, while it's a nice foray into a largely untapped space, it's not sticky enough:

... doing a different show from a different band every night isn't going generate the type of loyalty Yahoo! requires from its users. You're in one night because you love DMB, but you're probably not compelled to come back the next night to see an act you're not quite as rabid about.

That's why putting together an ad-supported and subscription-based package for, say, the forthcoming Taylor Swift tour makes sense on so many levels. It provides Yahoo! with a megastar who will bring her core of rabid fans back to Yahoo! Screen night after night after night. It's the next best thing to being there. And when they can't be there, they'll be glued to Yahoo! Screen.

Read More: I Have Seen the Next Bruce Springsteen and Her Name Is Taylor Swift

At least for the demos with a loyal affinity for Swift, Yahoo! will be more than a mundane daily habit for checking the weather forecast or a sports score. It will be the go-to destination for something meaningful in these people's lives. That's the type of daily habit Mayer needs to turn Yahoo! into, not the one it currently is . . . one that forms no real bond with an audience it is hoping will just give it an errant ad click.

Plus there's what amounts to guaranteed money in hopping on the Swift bandwagon. While Swift and her camp sell everything from the standard tickets and merchandise to Coke and Keds while on tour, even they haven't exploited live concert streaming. But "exploit" is the wrong word because, from a fan's perspective, being able to pay a price for full access to the tour is a true value add. You're getting something you've never been able to get before (legally, in high quality and guaranteed) for what really is a nominal fee. 

If one million "Swifties" were to drop, say, $50 each for a pass that allows them to live stream and have archived access to every show on the forthcoming "1989" tour that's $50 million in revenue. Revenue that's icing on the cake for Swift. Her most recent tour in support of the Red album grossed $150 million.

Duplicate Swift Elsewhere

Streaming the Swift tour -- which will likely kick off this fall -- isn't enough for Yahoo!

Streaming Swift on a consistent basis (preferably every night) solves the Live Nation problem with respect to loyal, repeat visits, but it only does so for a specific, albeit large and important, audience. Yahoo! needs to decide who it wants as a loyal customer and partner with other musical acts out on or preparing to go out on tour.

  1 2

Rocco Pendola writes for TheStreet. He lives in Santa Monica. Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.

Markets

DOW 17,325.43 +59.44 0.34%
S&P 500 2,018.43 +7.07 0.35%
NASDAQ 4,609.1580 +15.7330 0.34%

Rocco's Tweets

Brokerage Partners

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
Real Money Pro

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Trifecta Stocks

Trifecta Stocks analyzes over 4,000 equities weekly to find the elite 1% of stocks that pass rigorous quantitative, fundamental and technical tests.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Trade alerts
  • Recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Breakout Stocks

Bryan Ashenberg, using sophisticated stock screening and fundamental research, identifies potentially explosive small and mid-cap stocks.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Small-cap and mid-cap focus
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs