You probably havent used Yahoo in a while, but what if it cost you money? – The Verge

yahoo is the web 1.0 legacy brand that just won’t be dragged and tossed into the bin of history, and that’s largely thanks to verizon’s tireless efforts to keep it going after buying the company a few years ago. years for nearly $5 billion. . This time around, the telecom giant really wants to expand the Yahoo brand to all of its consumer-facing web properties with a new series of subscription offerings organized around what it’s calling Yahoo Plus, according to a new report from Axios.

It’s important to mention right now, before we go any further, that the official verizon media group markup provided for yahoo plus stylizes it as “yahoo!+”, with that deranged cousin of interrobang slapped on the end. Apparently “Oath,” which was the previous incarnation of Verizon Media Group and technically the division that swallowed Yahoo after the acquisition, was not the end of the company’s poor naming decisions.

If yahoo plus (we’re going to remove the exclamation point and plus sign) sounds like a streaming service, you’re right. it certainly does, but it isn’t. Yahoo Plus will instead be a sort of hybrid media portfolio of various Yahoo products and services, including its financial platform; your email platform that is still alive; its media properties, including engadget and techcrunch; and its fantasy sports service, among others. But in all seriousness, there’s some serious business here: Verizon tells Axios that it already has 3 million existing customers of subscription products it offers on services like Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Fantasy.

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In some cases, Yahoo Plus customers will pay for additional premium features, while in others, like the existing subscription version of Yahoo Mail called Yahoo Mail Pro, you’ll pay to remove ads, Axios reports. We don’t know how Verizon plans to bundle this as Yahoo Plus, or if it will charge for each separately and how much.

the bigger picture here is that verizon is acknowledging a harsh reality after the liquidation of its entire media business in 2018 (just a year after the yahoo deal closed) and the unceremonious end of its failed proto-quibi streaming app. go90. And it’s just that the whole targeted advertising game it hoped to play by combining its telecom analytics, AOL, Yahoo and its various other corporate tentacles is simply not equipped to take on the Facebook-Google duopoly in online advertising.

Verizon is now testing subscription models. they are certainly all the rage in the media these days. After all, collecting recurring direct payments from consumers is the only sure way to inject stability into an ad market largely dominated by big tech and susceptible to cataclysmic downturns, as happened last year when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 19.

That brings us back to yahoo plus. while it may seem silly to continue to lean on the brand, perhaps best known for pointing to an email address that hasn’t changed since high school, the yahoo brand is certainly resilient and the closest thing to a household name on websites that can get off the main silicon. valley corporations.

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“Yahoo is the future of our consumer-facing brand,” Joanna Lambert, Verizon Media’s chief consumer officer, told Axios. “From a strategic perspective, we have enormous scale that is unlike most media companies in the world. the question is, “how do we take that audience from free users to subscribers of really valuable paid offers?”

lambert is right about the sheer scale of yahoo properties: they are still among the largest on the web. And if Verizon can somehow come up with a set of subscription services that really complement its advertising business, then it really will have breathed new life into the Yahoo name. We’re still a little unsure about the whole “yahoo!+” thing. Hopefully that will be reconsidered.

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