Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Analysis of the Four Portals {AOL, MSN, YouTube, Yahoo} & Social Portal Opportunities


image:: screenshot of Aol.ca

Mediapost has an article citing a report by Broadpoint AmTech comparing four portal sites, Yahoo, AOL, MSN, and relative newcomer, YouTube. I must admit I haven't been on the AOL site in years. I was surprised to see the new look {above}. Here's an overview::
  • Yahoo! Used as branding vehicle and with the lowest proportion of direct response.
  • MSN "Low-rent" district with high proportion of direct-response ads
  • AOL Most creative with expandable rich media. Appealing to advertisers, but users report intrusiveness
  • YouTube Heavy with media and telecom ads. Used to promote movie and television shows.
I found the YouTube analysis to be the most interesting, as it relates to some work I'm doing. While it's not surprising that the nature of the media {video} is helping to set YouTube up as a perfect vehicle for entertainment promotion, it highlights how segmenting on the basis of modality can be beneficial.

While I was high on MySpace as a social portal for quite a while, I think their CEO turnover is creating an opportunity for this marketspace. MySpace was well-poised to leverage its social networking site to create a social portal based on entertainment affinities, e.g., music, television, film, etc. I see limits on the closed social graph of Facebook, the 800 pound gorilla in social networking, and I think that social networking that encourages new connections to others and incorporating other social media feeds/links would drive value for the user. On a social portal, like on MySpace, ads could be tightly targeted based on context, so the mode well-defined that context can be {on the site or a portion of the site}, the better. For MySpace, a massive redesign would have to be done that allows access to both other social networking sites and social media features, while creating value-added for coming to MySpace. I don't see this happenning in the near future, so I see an opportunity here.

Twitterversion:: Mediapost analyzes the 4 portals: AOL, Yahoo, MSN,& YouTube.Summary & thoughts on how this informs opps w/social portals. @Prof_K

Song:: Aimee Mann-'How Am I Different?'



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