Video ad industry is in a state of content chaos, says Yahoo CMO

Cannes 2014: The video advertising industry is in a state of “content chaos”, says Yahoo chief marketing officer Kathy Savitt. 

Yahoo CMO Kathy Savitt says crowded market place makes it difficult for brands to make an impact.

Speaking to Marketing Week at Cannes Lions 2014, she said: “In video, we are in a sea of massive content chaos. You can get the same content in so many different places and users have an issue because they are inundated with content choices.”  

Savitt, who took on responsibility for video and news in February following the departure of operating officer Henrique de Castro, claims that because of the crowded market place it’s hard for brands to make an impact because consumers can’t remember where they watched a piece of content, as it’s available in so many places.  

She says: “Even the best content creators are having a hard time breaking through because of this proliferation of content.” 

Yahoo’s aim and focus is on video this year as they aim to be the “connective tissue between content creator and the right audience”. 

However, Savitt claims that the brand is not trying to be a network or movie studio but are hoping to enable creators, whether they are studios, networks, new voices on Tumblr or brand advertisers, a way of finding the right audience at scale for their content. 

Savitt says: “We have invested a tremendous amount of resource both in terms of time and dollars in our personalisation algorithms that allow us to serve personalised content experience to different people.” 

To build its video strategy Yahoo is focusing on and across four major areas including, long-form content through Yahoo Originals, digital magazine content with TV shows in place for all titles, Yahoo Live which will see live concerts streamed every day for a year starting in July through a partnership with Live Nation and Yahoo Premium, which connects the brand to their partners such as Comedy Central and Vevo.   

Savitt adds: “Video has been our major focus for the last year and half. We have come out strong talking about video in 2014 because we weren’t ready in 2013…we had to make sure the offering was strong.” 

Read a full Q&A with Savitt here. 


Kathy Savitt

Q&A Kathy Savitt, chief marketing officer at Yahoo

Mindi Chahal

Cannes 2014: Yahoo’s CMO, Kathy Savitt was handed the brief of firing up the company’s video and news offerings earlier this year. In an exclusive interview at Cannes Lions 2014, Marketing Week asks Yahoo’s CMO, Kathy Savitt about why video is a growth area for the business, its mobile-first approach and its brand perception in the UK.