Yahoo Changing Its Model for Building Media Products

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Yahoo is building a centralized software infrastructure across all its media products, to make development and global updates more efficient, an executive said on Saturday.

As the company builds different sites in different countries, it believes that a more powerful way of building these sites is through the use of a central code base in a cloud environment, with strong localization for each market, Jeff Kinder , Yahoo's senior vice president for media products and solutions, said on the sidelines of a Yahoo Open Hack Day in Bangalore.

Yahoo's media products include news, sports, finance and entertainment.

"If we build on a central code base, then some of the innovations that we build on top of it, can be immediately cascaded around the world," Kinder said.

Content is also hosted in a cloud environment and can be shared across different products. Different countries will, however, have their own content feeds depending on their localization requirements, Kinder said.

Some of Yahoo's media products previously had different code bases that also varied by country, Kinder said. While products like e-mail were built with a global code base, some of the Yahoo media products evolved in a decentralized manner, and were often built in the local markets they addressed, he added.

The challenge with consumer products is that they have to be tried out in different ways for different markets to see if they work, said Shouvick Mukherjee, vice president and CEO of Yahoo India R&D. "It is very different from mail, because in the case of mail it is a similar product that you see across the world," he said.

Now that Yahoo's consumer products are accepted and successful, the company can start thinking of a global platform across these products in different markets, Mukherjee said.

A centralized code base also brings economies of scale in development and installation, Kinder said. Localized versions will benefit from innovations across the world, he said.

The company has already started rolling out the new model for one of its products, Yahoo Finance, in some markets like Singapore, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, Kinder said. With the new architecture, new features added to Yahoo Finance are immediately rolled out to all these markets at one go, he said.

The company's news product will also be rolled out on a central global code by the end of this year, Kinder said.

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