TOKYO: 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em,' appears to be Yahoo's latest diversification strategy. The web portal's Nipponese operation, Yahoo Japan Corporation, has decided to emulate Google in becoming a distributor of ads in non-internet media.

The project kicked-off earlier this month, with Yahoo soliciting ads from marketers for distribution via contracted media. Initially the scheme is confined to newspapers - although there is no reason why it should not be extended over time to, say, radio and TV.

The recipient publications - twenty-one at present - are members of around sixty news providers from whom Yahoo buys reports for its market-leading online news service.

The news sources are paid a fee, from which Yahoo deducts commission. Traditional ad agencies are likely to be unamused - especially if the trend spreads westward.

Data sourced from Asahi Shimbun Online; additional content by WARC staff