Here at The Motley Fool, we believe individual investors should have the same access to information that Wall Street has. In that spirit, we've listened in on some investment-bank conferences with major companies and are giving you the rundown. We call this feature "Fool on the Street."

At last week's Morgan Stanley Technology Conference, Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO Terry Semel and interim co-CFO Susan Decker took analyst questions on all aspects of the company's business. To give you the inside scoop on what these analysts know that most individual investors don't pay attention to, I took a peek and wrote up my thoughts.

New age, new ideas
Ms. Decker started off by describing how the advertising market is changing. Online marketing used to be an afterthought, something an advertiser threw in if there was any budget left after TV, radio, newspaper, and billboard advertising. Now, major advertisers like Pepsi (NYSE:PEP) and Nissan (NASDAQ:NSANY) are starting with a Web strategy and building their whole campaigns around it.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) may be the online ad champion these days, but Yahoo! is no featherweight, either. The company played a large part in creating this market over the last decade or so, and the recently released Panama advertising platform is an ambitious grab for a bigger slice of today's revenue pie. Semel echoed many of these sentiments later in the session, elaborating on the details. That unified front tells me that the two executives believe in what they are saying, a theory reinforced by their passionate delivery.

All video, all the time
When Semel took the spotlight, he drew attention to the company's new video offerings. Rather than presenting a stand-alone audiovisual service a la YouTube or Google Video, Yahoo! chose to tie its video offerings into pretty much every part of its portal. It's an "infrastructure to serve video throughout the Yahoo platform, anywhere and almost any place on Yahoo," he said. "And so whether you're in sports or whether you're in games or whether you're in finance or whether you're in autos, we wanted to have the video capabilities of a better site, better things to do on Yahoo and better for our advertisers and more opportunities for the advertisers."

Eventually, Semel thinks we'll stop talking about "video" and just call it "content," on a level with the mostly text-based content we're used to. As Yahoo! and others start to figure out how to make money from showing us videos online, the distinction between this medium and text will begin to fade away.

A very important part of that process is convincing the content producers -- that is, traditional media companies like Disney (NYSE:DIS), Sony Entertainment (NYSE:SNE), or Viacom (NYSE:VIA) -- that they need to release their closely held material online, one way or another. Semel described the media giants' response to Internet video quandary as a shotgun reaction. "How well protected is my inventory?... Do I sue people? What's my next action?" The battle that many of these companies face is determining how and what content to expose to the Internet while maintaining ownership -- something these companies don't always agree on, as seen by the Viacom lawsuit against Google.

What's next?
Semel sees two major growth opportunities for his company, and plans to go after both in 2007. One is the growing number of total Internet users, especially as the Net expands into developing nations and further permeates the huge Far East markets. "Yahoo [is] very well positioned in Asia", he said, and noted that many reports predict an 80% larger global Internet user base in the next three years.

On top of that, use of mobile devices like smartphones is growing like a wildfire -- particularly in those emerging markets. That's not just great for Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Motorola (NYSE:MOT), but also a very large market opportunity for Yahoo! You can do the math yourself: expanding numbers of users, each of whom is becoming more and more connected. It's a much larger canvas on which the company can paint its presence and make some money. "It's emerging markets. It's definitely wireless."

The Panama platform piggybacks on all of that. Apart from the morale boost the two executives reported coming from the completion of such a large and ambitious project, there's also the ongoing redesign of Yahoo!'s pages -- starting last year with the relaunched front page and a beta version of Yahoo! Mail -- that will eventually spread throughout the entire product portfolio. Decker said that "a third of our page was not very relevant," in terms of helping users find the information they needed. The redesign should help maintain or maybe even boost the company's search traffic share. For now, Decker said that she's "extremely pleased we've been able to hold our own."

That's all, folks!
Yahoo!'s been a little bit up and a little bit down, but this Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection very clearly has some exciting opportunities in front of it. The real challenge is to squeeze every ounce of juice out of them all, or at least the ripe ones. That wraps up our report from this presentation on Yahoo!, but stay on the lookout for more "Fool on the Street" reports that bring you juicy information that only the analysts have paid attention to.

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund is a Disney shareholder, but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like. Foolish disclosure rules hear all and see all.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.