Yahoo to unveil tablet-based news service later this year

A Yahoo! billboard advertising the company's many consumer applications.

Yahoo may be in catch-up mode, but Livestand appears to be a step in the right tablet direction. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Dan Spisak/Fotopedia)

Tablet-based publishing appears to be the future of journalism, and Yahoo wants its piece of the pie. Mercury News reports that Yahoo plans to launch Livestand, an online news and magazine service that will allow publishers to direct their content specifically to tablet device users, whether they be iPad 3, Android-based or Hewlett-Packard’s webOS. Yahoo says Livestand will launch later this year.

Livestand will feature Yahoo and third-party content

At launch, Yahoo’s Livestand will feature its own content as well as news and features from outside magazines and newspapers. But Yahoo Vice President of Mobile and Connected Devices Irv Henderson sees an even more fabulous destiny in store for Livestand.

“We see a future where two people in a garage can publish a magazine with the tools we enable,” said Henderson.

The tablet-only focus is a significant change in direction for Yahoo, but it has been made necessary by sagging revenue growth when compared with competitors like Google and Facebook. Considering that Rupert Murdoch has already fired a major shot in the tablet-only field with the new iPad-only newspaper The Daily, Yahoo’s move makes sense.

“We see tablets as a catalyst that will allow advertising dollars to shift from TV and print to digital,” said Yahoo’s Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer Blake Irving.

Customizing content to the individual user

Customizable news and information delivered on demand in an attractive package has been the bane of print journalism for years, and Yahoo Livestand is a sign that the company has learned from the inability and mistakes of the old guard. Livestand will be customizable based upon interests, time of day and physical location, reports the Mercury News. This formula will apply to both editorial content and advertising. Depending upon how well Livestand is received, Henderson says it may expand to smart phones, televisions and PCs.

Just in time for iPad 3

Mac Rumors indicates that even though the second generation iPad hasn’t even been announced, Apple is allegedly already in the planning stages for the iPad 3. Startlingly, the iPad 3 has already been rumored for release this fall, so 2011 is sure to be the year of the iPad and tablets in general. Online news and magazine publishers should have a tremendous audience waiting for a daily fix of news and information.

Sources

Mac Rumors

Mercury News

Yahoo’s Irv Henderson on tablets and content delivery

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