You've Come a Long Way, Jerry.
Yahoo’s (YHOO) indulging in a bit of skirt chasing today. This morning the company launched Shine, a new vertical intended for women ages 25 to 54. With content drawn from an assortment of women’s publications and categorized according to topics like ‘Fashion + Beauty,’ ‘Love + Sex,’ ‘Food,’ ‘Astrology,’ and other areas Yahoo’s deemed to be of interest to women (“We wanted to avoid all of the buckets that advertisers or marketers tend to put us in,” says Shine editor Brandon Holley. Oh, really …), Shine hopes to become a one-stop shop for that desirable female demographic. And with nearly 74 million people visiting women’s service sites in February–up 43% over the same period a year earlier, according to Web measurement firm ComScore Media Metrix–it has good reason to.
“It is the first launch we’ve had targeted to this key demographic,” said Yahoo’s Amy Iorio. “Our research showed that women wanted a community that was relative to their lives and also wanted credible sources. We have women all over Yahoo and niche sites that are meeting some of their needs. It seemed to make sense to broaden out and pull that content in.”
Sure does. That said, Yahoo–or Microsoft (MSFT), as the case may be–does have its work cut out for it. It’s got some formidable competitors and despite attracting 40 million monthly female visitors, its properties ranked sixth among health, fitness and nutrition sites and seventh in food and cooking, and did not hit the top 10 sites for apparel and beauty, according to Nielsen Online. Will Shine perform any better. Blogger Cyndy Aleo-Carreira doesn’t seem to think so. “While I admit I had no hopes whatsoever for Shine, I’m disappointed nonetheless,” she writes. “I refuse to believe that in 2008 horoscopes are still a huge talking point for women. It’s depressing to look at the topics on Shine. There is no tech news. No business section or science topics, unless you count dieting tips and an article concerning whether chocolate is good for you. No political conversations or world news or global issues. But two clicks bring me to “10 ways to attract women, according to guys.“
What was that about avoiding all of the buckets that advertisers or marketers tend to put women in again?