Yahoo is scrapping last year's star-studded advertising event for a more subdued office meeting

Marissa Mayer

Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Yahoo

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Katie Couric at last year's NewFront.

Yahoo is cutting back on spending, and it's already showing up in the way it throws parties.

On Monday, Yahoo announced that it's holding its NewFront event in a private setting at its New York office this year, saying it wants to provide advertisers with "less flash and more substance."

Digital Content NewFronts is an annual event held in New York City, where digital publishers like Yahoo, AOL, and YouTube host fancy events to woo potential advertisers by showcasing upcoming content, particularly streaming-video programs, for the year.
Last year, Yahoo's NewFront event was held at Lincoln Center, featuring celebrities like Simon Cowell and Naomi Campbell, to introduce their upcoming shows on Yahoo. Musician Steve Aoki was there to play music, while Katie Couric went on stage to announce the launch of her own news show, "Yahoo News Live."

"You can expect the event to be smaller and more intimate, designed to connect our advertisers directly with the video ad offerings that can meet their goals. We believe it's important to provide our advertisers with less flash and more substance this year," Lisa Utzschneider, Yahoo's chief revenue officer, wrote in a blog post about Yahoo's 2016 NewFront.

The move is not completely surprising, given Yahoo's recent decision to shut down a number of its content verticals and original TV-programming initiatives. Last year, Yahoo took a $42 million impairment charge as a result of its failed attempt to get into original long-form video content, with shows like "Community" and "Sin City Saints."

It's also the latest in Yahoo's many belt-tightening measures to show that it's being more conservative with spending. As the company faces mounting pressure from shareholders to improve its business, Yahoo has been narrowing down to a few core areas while shuttering a number of services, including its online video hub, Screen.

Instead, Yahoo's been doubling down on what it calls "MaVeNs," short for "mobile, video, native advertising, and social media," a segment that saw its revenue jump 36% to $1.6 billion last year.

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