Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

What Yahoo Should Possibly Go After. Part II

Posted on: October 17, 2008

This is a continuation to a Post that I had written Earlier.

“Yahoo could emerge with an edge, if they leapfrog into other verticals following the same web-based advertisement network.”

For a company which has entrenched itself in the media space, managing advertisements networks i probably the holy grail. I wouldnt recommend that Yahoo give up that leverage. Instead of going head on with Google and losing out on that battle, all they need to do is leverage that asset in a different vertical.

I wrote about perhaps using advertising networks, especially multimedia (audio/video) ads in Radio and television networks. One could argue that the ad server requirements, the infrastructure requirement and cost of operations would significantly vary because of the medium. I’d agree to some extent. But there is also a way to deploy the already existing asset, as-is, into different verticals. Read on.

I am not sure how many of you are aware of the CSCs coming up. The Community Service Centres, or Common Service Centres, are essentially Internet kiosks, each fitted with a fairly decent hardware and broadband connectivity, and the idea is to utilize those as hubs to deliver services into Rural India. It could be anything from eGovernance, health, Banking, Telecommunications, etc etc. There are a lot of private bidders who have won the tenders for regions (so the service delivery will be upto par on standards), and organizations in the likes of 3i Infotech, Reliance, Comat etc have come into this.

So Whats the opportunity for Yahoo or Google in all this? Well, there is a computer and its connected to the internet. Find a way to build a lightweight application that acts as a screensaver, which would display advertisements – pulling it from the internet – when the computer is idling. The advertisement can be focused to the rural space, and there is everyone from the likes of HLL, to your Cellphone companies, dying to get the attention of that market share.

The reason why the operators would be open to this idea is simply because everyone is trying to figure out how to break even in this business. As you could imagine, Rural India and technology are like lotus leaves and water drops. They just dont have a history of blending so far. And there is going to be that initial adoption curve issue for these services to pick up. And as a means of ensuring that the Kiosk Operator has some viable means of keeping at it, advertisements, and complementary services begin to play a role.

I believe there is a company which recently started in this space, and got funded by Sequoia. But yep, its definitely a market to explore.

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