Yahoo Finance has been on a roll this past year, expanding its editorial content, growing its live streaming coverage and launching a subscription product. Now comes a new podcast, Illegal Tender. Verizon Media’s GM of Finance and Tech, Joanna Lambert, talks about managing a digital brand in an ever-changing media landscape.
What has the Yahoo Finance team been up to?
It’s been a busy year for Yahoo Finance. In January we extended daily live programming to eight hours of bell-to-bell, weekday coverage. We’ve boosted our roster of talent, producers and writers with great new hires, launched new original series like “Influencers with Andy Serwer” which airs every Thursday featuring guests from Warren Buffett to the Property Brothers, and we’ve ramped up live events coverage. From Davos to our Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit with leaders from Stephen Schwarzman to Eva Chen, to our exclusive livestream of the annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting – our team will have produced over 150 live events by the year’s end.
Yahoo Finance isn’t just innovating digitally – we’re innovating physically as well. This spring we opened a brand new studio, a 360-degree, 4k-capable studio in New York City, with additional studios in London and Canada.
We entered the subscription space earlier this year, too, with Yahoo Finance Premium. This new service gives investors a deep look at the data and fundamentals essential to everyday returns, paired with third-party research, enhanced charting with event analysis, and sophisticated company profiles to gain new insights and make smarter investments.
At our core we’re working to develop the consumer experience with premium content and seamless transactions. Yahoo Finance is committed to providing informative content that empowers and informs financial decisions.
How does content/platform differ by demographic?
While it’s true that certain platforms and types of content resonate best with certain audiences, there is also content that piques the interest of a much wider audience. Our bell-to-bell 8-hours of coverage is a prime example. We have our regular morning users who tune-in for a market preview, our super users who have the livestream on in the background all day, and our topical users who tune-in for our coverage on earnings or the jobs report, big crypto-guests, Fed meetings or CEO appearances.
We’ve allowed our users to decide how they want to consume our content too. Whether they want to watch on desktop or prefer OTT devices like Roku, FireTV, AppleTV, we want to be where our users consume content and utilities. Mobile has been a growing platform for us and we are focusing on building more impactful tools on mobile apps. From launching dark mode, native charts and price alerts, we are looking to provide the best experience customized to each platform.
Yahoo Finance has a new podcast out ?
Yes, we’ve launched season one of Illegal Tender. Hosted by Yahoo Finance’s Ethan Wolff-Mann, Illegal Tender takes a fresh look at business tycoon Aubrey McClendon and the suspicious circumstances around his untimely death, with the help of expert Bethany Mclean the author of Saudi America and Vanity Fair contributor, who followed and covered McClendon closely. We’re actually releasing the first three episodes today, after seeing such a high demand during other podcast launches for “binge-able” episodes. I won’t give away too much, but this season Ethan and Bethany uncover the strange parallel between McClendon’s rollercoaster of a life and the rollercoaster that is the fracking industry – something he helped build. The series is all about money and culture. We’re already planning season two on New York socialite and scam artist Anna Delvey.
How do you think podcasts will evolve over the next few years?
Did you know podcasts are expected to produce more than $1 billion by 2021, according to a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)? Podcasting is huge and it’s not going anywhere.
For publishers it’s a chance to revisit long-form journalism, in a personalized 1:1 way between the host and listener. For advertisers, podcasting offers an incredibly engaged and quality audience. Since launching our slate of podcasts we’ve seen 150% YoY growth at Yahoo Finance.
As podcasting matures we can expect expansion from a free audio service. Live podcast events or tapings (which we’re already seeing), better integration into our personal lives with smart home devices, and subscriptions for premium listening experiences are all on the horizon.
More broadly, we’re seeing that media will evolve into a more personalized experience across platforms, from podcasts to live programming. Today’s consumer is looking for a breadth of offerings that champions their interests and unique identities.
What kind of research do you do before launching new products?
We do a variety of research before launching new products, from partnering with third-parties for industry research, to working with test samples and groups, to internally testing at Verizon Media. Most of our product launches and innovations started with audience insights and really listening to the needs of our consumer. In addition to feedback and consumer research, we closely monitoring metrics to understand what really resonates with different users. We are constantly iterating on our product experience the content and formats we produce to create the best possible value for our customers.