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CES2014 : Marissa Mayer Announces Sweeping Yahoo! Revamp

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Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer declared mobile a key part of the internet giant's future and unleashed a blizzard of announcements designed to help pep up the historically underperforming company's stock price.

"Yahoo!'s core values are making the world's daily habits inspiring and entertaining," Mayer said. "For Yahoo! and the wider industry, mobile is all about growth. By 2017 we expect 3.1 billion devices connected to the internet, nearly nearly 2 billion more than we see today. And it's what people do on their mobile phones that counts."

The business' whole advertising proposition has been shaken up with what senior VP of advertising technology Scott Burke called "a new unified ad solution which will make media buying a lot more efficient."

Tumblr sponsored posts will now be powered by Yahoo! Advertising; Yahoo Audience Ads will helps advertisers reach their audience across Yahoo sites and other inventory; and a new buying platform will underpin these. A Yahoo! Ad Exchange has been launched for premium publishers.

Its media division will feature new services powered by the company's Flickr and Tumblr. Yahoo News Digest is a new app aimed at simplifying news stories and information overload for consumers. For more in-depth content, Mayer announced a new suite of consumer digital magazines. The first two of these theme-based sites are Yahoo! Food and Yahoo! Tech. Instead of banner ads, Yahoo! will fund the sites with branded content.

Mayer announced the acquisition of contextual search specialist Aviate. This will automatically organise apps based on contextual clues to serve users with personalised information to their mobile device. “The future of search is contextual knowledge,” said Mayer.

Adam Cahan, senior VP of mobile and emerging markets, declared "2014 is poised to be our biggest year in video yet" and launched a smart guide which brings together auto-recognition capabilities to bring better recommendations for live and VOD content to smart TVs.

Added Mayer: “The industry is at a critical moment embarking on the next-generation of video consumption. Video is interactive, cross screens, and programmed by the user.”

The support cast to all of this included Cecily Strong from Saturday Night Live, who performed a skit with SNL co-star Kenan Thompson. News presenter Katie Couric, who recently joined Yahoo! as global anchor, also spoke about her role.

And for good measure, Grammy winning artist John Legend serenaded the audience covering The Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun."

Yahoo! has 800 million users worldwide. Mayer was the youngest woman to run a Fortune 500 company when she was hired from Google by Yahoo! in June 2012.

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