Just read the news that Match.com is going to take over Personals dating on Yahoo. Sadly, it was inevitable. During the time I was running product at Yahoo! Personals, we had at least 3 different SVPs the unit reported to. Not only did the group get switched around repeatedly, it was clear no one at the top had strong interest in managing this kind of transactional revenue, despite good ROI, strong team, etc.
Now, 3 years after the first flurries, Yahoo! has accepted the Match deal. Good news–or bad?
Match taking over Yahoo’s Personals category is a great idea if you believe that the unit was on life support, being run for 18-24 months as a cash cow to capitalize on traffic till the earlier investment paid back.
It is a great idea if you believe Yahoo! should focus on a small set of core businesses and divest of things that are distractions (though, 2 1/2 years out of Yahoo! I have no idea what those core business area).
And it is a great idea if Yahoo’s best plan is to be an aggregator and make $3-4 MM a year in affiliate referrals via partner payouts for customer acquisition rather than manage greater revenue against greater cost.
But is is a great idea?
Not really, But Yahoo! stopped having great ideas a long time ago.
Ancient history note: I used to run Product at YP.