Yesterday, Yahoo! (YHOO) announced a partnership with CNBC to share financial information and programming across CNBC.com and Yahoo! Finance.
The deal makes sense to both parties, and it is also the second major "premium content" deal Yahoo! has signed in the past year. It's a strategy backed by interim CEO Ross Levinsohn.
First, here's why the CNBC deal makes sense. From CNBC's side, despite being the dominant cable-TV channel for business, its web presence has lagged behind for years. It has improved a little in the last couple of years. CNBC hired John Carney after Carney left Business Insider and seemed to put a much stronger push behind a blogged presence. However, it is still ranked as the 11th most popular business news site. Yet it generates enormous premium content in the business news niche from cable.
Yahoo! Finance is the No. 1 financial news site on the web. It gets close to 40 million unique visitors a month. This is far ahead of the rest of the pack, even though Yahoo! Finance has pretty much been ignored by Yahoo! for the last decade. Not entirely, however. It has made a push to generate some interesting and quality premium content in the last few years, including contributions from Aaron Task, Henry Blodget, Jeff Macke and Matt Nesto.
But there's always been so much potential to do more with Yahoo! Finance, and now, it seems, it is going to get the chance.
With CNBC premium content all over its site, Yahoo! will be a lot more attractive. Yahoo! Finance should be able to drive more interest back to CNBC.com. Plus, the two sides will be collaborating more on web video that can be promoted on the cable channel. This makes complete sense. Nesto and Macke come from CNBC pre-Yahoo! Henry Blodget has been making increasing appearances on CNBC, and he's been fantastic.
The two sides won't pay anything to each other but will share in the ad revenue created. It's really the best of the financial web meeting up with the best of financial cable. It should lead to increased relevance of CNBC on the web -- Mark Hoffman's goal -- as well as increased views to Yahoo! Finance -- which is Ross Levinsohn's goal.
It also follows on the heels of the successful partnership between Yahoo! and ABC News from several months ago which recently got enhanced.
Ross Levinsohn and the woman who negotiated this deal, Mickie Rosen, have been clear for the last 18 months that Yahoo! can win by aggregating more and more premium content and selling ads against it. This is not cats-on-couches YouTube. This is not Facebook. This is right in Yahoo!'s bailiwick.
The question is, where do Ross and Mickie go next for more premium content? One idea is to target women. Calling Martha Stewart! But sports is probably even a higher priority. Watch for something with CBS Sports/Showtime possibly. SB Nation, controlled by Jim Bankoff, is another idea.
Premium content means more ads and more money for Yahoo! And Yahoo! brings huge traffic to CNBC, ABC News and others that might be interested in teaming up.