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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Yahoo!'s Semel, Still Crazy After All These Years


Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel says that internet advertising growth is underestimated. Video, social network, and mobile applications will grow faster than traditional banners and text ads.

Semel is probably right. His problem is that he is weak in these areas, especially video and social networking where News Corp's MySpace and Google's YouTube dominate.

Semel has been unwilling to make a big purchase to get himself in the game, and Yahoo!'s video offering is back in the pack with MSN and AOL. They may do well, but the big share of the market is elsewhere.

Semel's comments are actually a negative for Yahoo!. They show that the company is poorly positioned to get a piece of the segments that he claims will grow the most.

Maybe he will have better luck if he sells his company to Google. At least he could be part of the emerging online video ad market.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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