Why did Yahoo Buy Summly Part Two

Today we found another likely driver for Yahoo’s Summly acquisition. In an article titled Citrix: Windows Phone is barely making a dent in the Workplace, Yahoo actually presents no more than a condensed summary of the cited article, which provides the title to this content. But the article is actually published on someone else’s site. Cool.

By the way, the condensed summary is bracketed with paid display advertising, which brings in some serious cash. Not bad when one considers that software produces the condensed summary and some more software builds a display ad rotation schedule for the sidebars. Little human intervention here. We knew that content annotation was promising, but this system is content management on steroids.

We found this out, accidentally, by using one of the content curation tools that we use daily, newsisfree, on one of our daily searches for news on “enterprise computing”. The article was correctly attributed to Mr. Brad G. Reed, but the link went to Yahoo, not Mr. Reed’s web publisher. More on this one in a coming post to this blog.

With Summly waiting in the wings, the Yahoo annotation engine stands to benefit from a better algorithm, producing shorter summaries and more display ad space. When one considers that Summly brings to Yahoo an established leading position in the small mobile device market for the same type of service (see our first post on this topic, published yesterday, March 27, 2013 for more on this last point) the purchase price looks to be a bargain.

Early stage ISVs with the potential to produce competitive, or at least related, products for the content curation, annotation or aggregation markets should study the Summly story. We think each of these three markets have good legs. People are on the go and need near immediate access to information whether for a very wide range of needs. There is certainly a lot of room in these markets for new players, not to mention a key ingredient — further innovation.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved

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