Can Yahoo Make ‘em Pay?”: The story focuses on Yahoo’s partnership with SBC Communications to sell broadband access. SBC subscribers who sign up for the service will automatically reach the Web through a Yahoo portal. Yahoo will take a cut of the subscription fees, an average of $3 to $5 a month, predict analysts. Once broadband customers are on board, Yahoo plans to sell them a host of offerings, from entertainment downloads to its online personals. Add it all up, and this could generate $125 million next year for Yahoo–46 percent of the company’s projected 2003 growth, according to WR Hambrecht & Co.
The challenge for Yahoo is to turn free into paying customers. Currently, the number reaches 1 million–or 0.5 percent of Yahoo’s 200 million quarterly users. Bolstered by broadband customers, Yahoo hopes to double the number of paying customers by the end of this year.