I was speaking with a reporter friend the other day about the ongoing Yahoo/MSN discussion. We decided to move past the what-if and considered when the acquisition will happen and what impact it will have on the combined companies.
I’m surprised there hasn’t been more coverage about what happens to MSN and Yahoo from a consumer and content standpoint. Right now, most of the content on Yahoo and MSN is licensed or syndicated through third parties like Scripps, The Associated Press, Weather.com and a host of other content creators.
For example, MSN Sports is powered by Fox Sports through a pretty significant multi-year partnership. Yahoo Sports on the other hand consists of some originally produced content along with feeds from the AP. In comScore you can see that Yahoo has a greater share of unique users in virtually all categories including Music, Maps, Travel, Health and Autos.
I wonder which content source will win the prize and which brand will live on. A year from now when a consumer visits Yahoo Autos, will they be redirected to MSN Autos? Yahoo is better known and regarded by consumers than MSN, but can Microsoft afford to give up on their own brand?