Yahoo Q4 2008 Results: Additional Thoughts on Ad Budgets

Like I did with the Google Q4 call, I just reviewed the transcript from Yahoo!’s Q4 results conference call on Seeking Alpha.  A couple of interesting insights:

Blake Jorgensen, Yahoo!’s CFO discussed directional impressions regarding the advertising market.  He mentioned the following on advertising budgets:

“While some advertisers are cutting budgets, we believe we’ve been the beneficiary of major advertisers and agencies consolidating their ad buys with fewer players as they seek to improve returns on their ad spending.” He added later in the call: “I think most of the members of our team here believe that the premium class one advertising is seeing pressure primarily due to what you would typically see in a recessionary economy, where branded advertising is often the first thing that goes.”

On search queries, he said:

“We are tending to see PPC growth, but click yields and fewer commercial queries starting to impact overall revenue for search in general, and clearly search, both here in the US, as well as internationally.”

On a different note, it was disclosed that Kelkoo, the European shopping engine Yahoo! sold back in 2008, contributed $80 million of revenue last year.

What it means: some interesting directional information on search and display ad revenues: advertiser budget consolidation, branded advertising softness even in premium ad space and fewer commercial search queries means no segment of online advertising can avoid the impact of the economic slowdown. The big question still remains.  Is Yellow Pages revenue better at countering recessions (i.e. ad revenues decrease less than the rest of the ad industry) vs. search engine revenue?


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