Verizon Media Group Bets Big on Yahoo Plus Subscriptions

Leveraging their popular free products and as they transition to a freemium model

Verizon Media Group has launched Yahoo Plus subscriptions, a new suite of freemium products to grow its base of more than 3 million subscribers. Yahoo Plus is launching with four products: Yahoo Plus Mail, Yahoo Plus Finance, Yahoo Plus Protect and Yahoo Plus Fantasy. If subscribers select more than one product, they can save 10%, 15% or 20% through Verizon Media’s “Buy More, Save More” program. Subscribers will also see fewer ads on Yahoo on Yahoo websites and apps via Ad-Lite and get 24/7 tech support. Each product is priced separately, and some come with a free trial.

“Yahoo Plus is a collection of individual subscriptions that take your Yahoo experience to the next level. Do you use Yahoo Mail? Subscribe to Yahoo Mail Plus and get added features like an ad-free inbox. Enjoy Yahoo Finance? Subscribe to Yahoo Finance Plus and get advanced data and expert analysis. Sports fanatic? Subscribe to Yahoo Fantasy Plus and get research tools and trade insight. Get more of what you love with Yahoo Plus,” says Yahoo in its FAQs.

Yahoo Plus products

Yahoo Mail Plus:

$5 a month after 14-day free trial

Yahoo Mail Plus provides subscribers with an ad-free experience and an inbox that is fully customizable. It offers quite a few more features than the free version of Yahoo mail. In addition to the removal of ads, Yahoo Mail Plus includes domain blocking, 24/7 tech support, reply reminders, automatic forwarding and faster email performance. Some of these features are only available on the desktop version.

Yahoo Plus Mail
Yahoo Plus Mail. Image courtesy of Yahoo.

Yahoo Plus Finance:

Yahoo Plus Finance offers two options: Essential and Lite with different features and price points.

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Yahoo Plus Finance Essential:

$35 a month or $350 annually (COVID promo: get 10% off for 6 months), 14-day free trial

Yahoo Plus Finance Essential includes real time news and stock quotes, multiple linked brokers for portfolio tracking, interactive charts for performance monitoring, unlimited custom portfolios and watchlists, daily trade ideas based on interests, fair value analysis for stocks, advanced portfolio performance analysis tools, monthly educational webinars with Q&A, enhanced alerts, live chat on desktop, investment research from Morningstar & Argus, Market Digest newsletter and more.

Yahoo Plus Finance Lite:

$25 a month or $250 annually

The Lite version has many of these features but some are exclusive to Yahoo Plus Financial Essential. For Example, the Lite version does not offer unique company data, enhanced charting with auto pattern recognition, investment research, and historical financials and statistics.

Yahoo Finance still offers a free version with real-time news and stock quotes, multiple linked brokers for portfolio tracking, interactive charts for performance monitoring and unlimited custom portfolios and watchlists.

Yahoo Plus Finance. Image courtesy of Yahoo

Yahoo Plus Protect:

This subscription product offers protection for mobile devices and for the home.

Yahoo Plus Protect Mobile

 For $5 a month per Apple, Samsung or Google smartphone, subscribers can replace a cracked screen, repair a faulty device, get an extended warranty and 24/7 support from tech experts in the U.S. There is no free trial for this service.

Yahoo Plus Protect Home

For $15 a month, subscribers can get home device (TVs, laptops, computers, printers, gaming systems, tablets, etc.) protection and device support 24/7 from tech experts in the U.S. Subscribers get help with tech issues and help repairing and replacing their devices. There is no free trial for this service.

Yahoo Plus Protect Home and Mobile
Yahoo Plus Protect Mobile and Home. Image courtesy of Yahoo.

Yahoo Fantasy Plus

Baseball fans will be excited that Fantasy Baseball is back with an introductory price of $8 per year after a 7-day free trial. The service includes a research assistant so subscribers can make informed decisions about their player line-up. They can also upgrade to Start Active Players and Trade Insights.

Yahoo Plus Fantasy
Yahoo Plus Fantasy. Image courtesy of Yahoo.

“Yahoo is the future”

“Yahoo is the future of our consumer facing brand,” said Joanna Lambert, head of consumer at Verizon Media, in an Axios article. “Over time, we will be moving non-Yahoo brands and centralizing them around Yahoo.”

Among the media outlets under the Verizon Media Group to be rebranded are TechCrunch, AutoBlog and Engadget. Yahoo is also considering other subscription opportunities. As a large tech-based media company, Verizon Media Group and Yahoo have an opportunity to grow their market share and revenue base through subscriptions.

Insider Take

This is a very smart play on the part of Verizon Media Group. Yahoo is taking its free products which already have an audience and turning them into freemium offerings. Some users will remain free users, while many are expected to upgrade to ad-free or ad-lite versions of the Yahoo Plus subscriptions to get more features. An ad-free, customizable inbox (similar to Gmail) has a lot of appeal, and Fantasy Baseball fans are diehard fans. The low introductory price will get them in the door, and the upgrades will enhance their experience. Verizon Media Group and Yahoo have huge potential for big gains here. If they’re successful, they could set a great example for similarly situated companies to follow.