Earnings: Yahoo Execs On Yahoo Music & Paying Customers

Yahoo’s push for premium subscribers seems be gathering steam the numbers — and the per customer revenues — and still relatively small. The company saw a hefty jump in fee-paying customers in Q205, up 10.1 million — up 58 percent from 6.4 million the previous year and 13 percent from 8.9 million over the previous quarter. Chairman Terry Semel: “It wasn’t long agoi when everyone said I was crazy — and perhaps I was — for thinking that we could attract 10 million paying relationships. Now we’re on way to our new goal of 15 million paying relationships.” Later in the call, CFO Sue Decker said the estimate for 12 million by the end of the year stands. Yahoo doesn’t break out the types of fees so there’s no way of telling for sure how many come from fantasy sports, music, small business or other although Decker said more than half comes from content bundled with access — ie SBC Yahoo and the like. The revenue per user per month runs $3-4.

— Lots of emphasis on Yahoo Music as a beta.work in progress that won’t be launched until some time this quarter. COO Dan Rosensweig took exception to a question referring to substantial delays: “There was one delay and everything else is where we expected it to be.” He said launching new internet products in beta is the best launch particularly with advent of social media is “to put it out there and give users the chance to comment it, to help create it and build the product… “We’re very pleased about it. It’s actually been getting a tremendous response. It’s very revolutionary as you know.” He spoke of the multiple revenue streams around music from subscription to advertising to download. “We’re very excited about it. You can start to see us do a lot with it later on this year.”