Using its vast knowledge of how people use the Internet, Yahoo Inc. knows what’s hot. Now the online giant is trying to capitalize on that knowledge by building websites dedicated to the 100 hottest entertainment brands.
The effort aims to leverage the popularity of franchises such as Nintendo Co.’s Wii video game console or NBC’s sitcom “The Office” to draw fans to Yahoo’s stable of sites. The company hopes advertisers will follow the fans.
Most of the brands selected by Yahoo already have their own websites. But what sets this project apart is that Yahoo is using other companies’ products to promote its own — with or without the cooperation of those companies.
“We’d like to work with brand owners,” said Vince Broady, Yahoo’s head of games, entertainment and youth properties. “But we don’t necessarily need the brand owners to do this.”
The branded channels come at a time when Yahoo is under increasing pressure to make better use of the plethora of services and functions it offers. The new strategy is called “brand universe,” which uses the information Yahoo has at its disposal to figure out what brands Yahoo users like.