Yahoo Finance is trying to crack the investor market with a new subscription service, Yahoo Finance Premium, that it’s beta-testing at prices of $35 to $55 a month.
Verizon Media, the Verizon unit that Yahoo Finance belongs to, shared the details of the service along with other news last week at a meeting of the Verizon Media Agency Advisory Council, a gathering of more than a dozen top agency execs that Verizon periodically hosts to share updates with and seek feedback from.
The meeting covered Verizon Media’s strategy, from ad products to subscription services and premium-content plans, and was meant to send the message that the Verizon corporate parent is fully committed to its media arm, according to attendees. The unit has been recently laying off staff and losing value since Verizon spent $10 billion to acquire AOL and Yahoo and in 2017.
Axios first reported on Yahoo Finance Premium in November. According to that report, the service was likely to cost $100 a month, and it would be aimed at retail investors, with access to premium financial-data tools, data sets, and industry research.
According to an attendee, Yahoo Finance has been trying to find a sweet spot for pricing the service and believes a market exists for a premium product costing about $50 a month. This person spoke on the condition of anonymity, as attendees signed nondisclosure agreements to not speak about the meeting.
A second attendee wondered about the product being too niche. “It’s interesting for the investment community, the day traders. Where is the personal finance? It’s so finite that it’s limiting. It also didn’t strike me as cheap.”
On top of the paid content, Joanna Lambert, the general manager of finance and tech, told the gathering that Yahoo Finance also expanded to eight hours of daily free live-market coverage, according to Verizon Media’s recap of the meeting that was viewed by Business Insider.
Yahoo Finance just started shooting the coverage out of a new studio at its New York headquarters and was throwing a party in the evening on April 2 to celebrate its opening.
The first attendee expressed skepticism about the live video, as it’s mainly being streamed on Yahoo’s site and not more widely distributed to all the places people find video content now.
There’s an over-the-top (OTT) app for Yahoo Finance available on Apple TV and Roku. Verizon Media said in notes summarizing the meeting that it’s considering extending Yahoo Finance Live to Pluto TV, where its competition already is.
The way Verizon executives described the live service also brought to mind its sibling site HuffPost Live, which offered eight hours of live programming a day but never really took off and was shuttered in 2016 after four years. (By that time, HuffPost was part of Verizon.)
“And these are the guys who brought you HuffPo Live!” the first attendee said.
It’s also unclear if audiences still think of these sites as destinations, the second attendee said.
The backdrop is that Verizon Media, along with many media companies, is trying to launch consumer-paid products and services that will give the companies another revenue stream outside of advertising. Two months ago, Verizon Media’s TechCrunch launched Extra Crunch, a $15 per month service consisting of content, coverage, products, and events for hardcore users.
Verizon Media’s Yahoo Sports is leaning into fantasy and online betting
Along with Yahoo Finance, Verizon Media shared its strategy for Yahoo Sports. Geoff Reiss, the general manager of sports, told the group that Yahoo Sports was leaning into fantasy by developing a portfolio of fantasy games. The unit also is exploring now legalized online betting.
Some attendees asked about the potential negative societal influence of sports betting. “The optics are lousy,” one said. Verizon said in its summary notes of the meeting that in terms of online betting, it wanted to take a “proactive and responsible leadership position.”
Attendees asked about Go90, Verizon’s mobile video service that shut down in 2018, and Yahoo’s eSports, which shut down after Verizon acquired Yahoo in 2017. Verizon executives acknowledged that eSports struggled with the general esports challenge of users blocking ads at a high rate.