Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), on Tuesday, announced improvements to its 2012 U.S. election coverage platform, The Ticket. In its press release, the company outlined a plan to provide comprehensive coverage for the upcoming presidential election. The platform boasts of new features in video programming such as a new election night control room, shows dedicated to covering the Republican National Convention and #HashOut, a program with a social element. Yahoo is primarily a content provider and competes with firms like AOL (NYSE:AOL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) for Internet traffic.
With the United States expected to be at a crossroads during this polarizing election, we think that the new offerings present Yahoo with the opportunity to drive additional traffic to its website. With its new program #HashOut, the company is trying to promote user engagement by encouraging public debate. We think this is a good step as a debate in the comments section of an article or video can ensure that users keep coming back to respond to new comments. In an election environment where popularization is rampant, conflicting views can create more involved debates. This should increase Yahoo’s page views per user during the election cycle.
Additionally, these new services, if successful, could bring more users to Yahoo’s platform. Currently, we estimate the number of Internet users on Yahoo will increase to approximately 725 million by the end of our forecast period, but if Yahoo is able to attract more visitors to its site with this offering and make them stick longer, we could see an upside to the Trefis price estimate.
Overall, the social element of the new services can attract new users and entice them to come back for more. We will keep a close eye on the benefits that Yahoo’s election coverage can provide to its page views per user and unique visitor metrics.
We currently have a $19 price estimate for Yahoo!, which is approximately 27% above the market price.