SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo is betting big on mobile as the company tries to revitalize itself and compete with Google for digital advertising dollars.
Addressing Yahoo’s first mobile developers conference in San Francisco today, CEO Marissa Mayer said he company’s mobile development team today is ten times larger than what it was two years ago. That translated into big business for the company: in 2014, mobile accounted for $1.2 billion in Yahoo’s gross revenue. Of the company’s 1 billion users, 575 million of them interact with Yahoo on mobile.
“Mobile at Yahoo went from being a hobby inside the company with just 50 people on it to being a quarter of our revenue,” Mayer said.
There’s good reason for the company’s push into mobile: according to Yahoo’s Flurry analytics unit, the average U.S. smartphone user spends 177 minutes per day on the phone, and 88 percent of that time inside native applications. That means people spend more than two and a half hours every day inside mobile applications, and Yahoo wants to power advertising and analytics in those applications.
One of the reasons the company is holding its mobile developer conference is to promote all of the mobile products it has available, including its Gemini native advertising system, Flurry analytics package and its newly-acquired BrightRoll video advertising network.
Right now, Yahoo has an opportunity to take on Google for advertising dominance in mobile, and convince developers to use its solutions will be a big part of that.