1 Tygoll

Front Page Of Assignment Images Yahoo

Yahoo! Voices, formerly Associated Content (AC), was a division of Yahoo! that focused on online publishing. Yahoo! Voices distributed a large variety of writing through its website and content partners, including Yahoo! News. In early December 2011, its owners Yahoo! announced a major shakeup involving the introduction of a new service, Yahoo! Voices, which would replace the Associated Content site and take on the bulk of its content, while some 75,000 items would be retired under the new site's more stringent content submission rules. On July 2, 2014, Yahoo! announced that it would be shutting down Yahoo! Voices on July 31st and the Yahoo! Contributor Network at the end of August 2014.[1]

History[edit]

Associated Content was started in January 2005 by Luke Beatty. They hired their CTO in March 2006, Sonu Kansal. It was based in Denver, Colorado, with business development, sales and community offices in New York City.

In April 2009, Associated Content hired a new CEO, Patrick Keane, formerly of CBS Interactive and Google[2] and closed a $6 million Series C round of funding from Softbank Capital and Canaan Partners.[3] Three weeks after the funding announcement, Associated Content reorganized and laid off 5 employees.[4]

On May 19, 2010, Yahoo! announced that it would purchase Associated Content for $90 million.[5]

On December 1, 2011, "Yahoo!" announced a new service, Yahoo! Voices, which "replaces Associated Content as Yahoo! Contributor Network's official digital library."[6] In announcing the new service, Yahoo! claimed more stringent submission guidelines would be used in accepting new content and that the company would delete over 75,000 pieces that they deemed to be "inactive and outdated".[6] The new service aimed to provide "more than two million pieces of original content, spanning thousands of different topics, created by more than 500,000 individual experts and enthusiasts".[6]

Yahoo! announced on July 2, 2014 that it would shut down Yahoo! Voices and Yahoo! Contributor Network on July 31, 2014.[7]

The Internet Archive is integrating deleted Yahoo! Voices content into the Wayback Machine.[8]

Publishing platform[edit]

In addition to text content (articles), AC featured categories for video, audio, and slide shows along with an online community where users shared their expertise, network and voice opinions.

In contrast to many content publishing sites, AC paid many users for content up front.[9] Articles were usually required to be at least 400 words. Pictures were acceptable if from approved sources. The "Assignment Desk" was another source of article ideas and income for writers. AC displayed predefined article titles and users could "claim" the assignment. All on-site assignments (as opposed to "Partner Assignments") paid performance-based revenue while some also offered up-front payment.[10] Content could also be submitted without an up-front payment. All articles written by users who agreed to the contract were eligible to receive payments based on the number of page views.[11]

AC sometimes sent work back to contributors for further editing and sometimes rejected work for violations of the site's terms of use and guidelines, including promotional or advertorial content and plagiarism.[12][13]

Motifs[edit]

Associated Content originally billed itself as "The People's Media Company". The original schema was linked to its idea that its writers (originally called "Content Producers") were "Citizen Journalists".[citation needed]

In early 2009, Associated Content rebranded itself on the site as "Information from the source". Writers on the site, formerly called "Content Producers", were eventually called "Contributors" (after briefly being dubbed "Sources").[citation needed] The "Citizen Journalist" motif was dropped.[citation needed]

Criticism[edit]

Associated Content was criticized for the quality of its content. Slate technical writer Farhad Manjoo summed up this criticism thus: "Associated Content stands as a cautionary tale for anyone looking to do news by the numbers. It is a wasteland of bad writing, uninformed commentary, and the sort of comically dull recitation of the news you'd get from a second grader."[14]Scott Rosenberg criticized Associated Content and other companies for publishing content not aimed at human readers, but for the purpose of influencing search engines,[15] and for actually degrading Google search results.[16] Independent blogger Lenin Nair also criticized the remuneration policies of Associated Content[17].

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  1. ^"Furthering Our Focus". yahoo.tumblr.com. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  2. ^Vascellaro, Jessica E. (2009-03-30). "Start-up Hires CBS, Google Veteran". The Wall Street Journal. 
  3. ^"Associated Content Raises $6 Million In Third Round — paidContent". Paidcontent.org. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  4. ^"Industry Moves Round-Up: EMI, The Atlantic, Associated Content — paidContent". Paidcontent.org. 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  5. ^"Yahoo Buys Associated Content for a reported $100 Million, though the final purchase price has not been made public". Atlanta Post. May 19, 2010. Archived from the original on 26 May 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  6. ^ abcIntroducing Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo!, 2011-12-01
  7. ^"Help for Yahoo Account". contributor.yahoo.com. 
  8. ^"Archive Team: The Silenced Yahoo! Voices : Free Web : Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". archive.org. 
  9. ^Holmes, Elizabeth (2009-03-03). "Selling Expertise On the Internet For Extra Cash". The Wall Street Journal. 
  10. ^"FAQ: Why can't I submit content for up-front payment review?". Associated Content. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  11. ^"FAQ: Performance payments". Associated Content. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  12. ^Tish Grier (2007-03-26). "A 'middle man' for grassroots journalism?". Online Journalism Review from USC Annenberg. Archived from the original on 24 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  13. ^"FAQ: What is Associated Content's editorial policy?". Associated Content. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  14. ^"AOL's dumb plan to mimic the universe's worst news site". Slate. Archived from the original on 24 December 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  15. ^Scott Rosenberg (2009-12-14). "SEO mills: That's not fast food, it's bot fodder". Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  16. ^Scott Rosenberg (2010-08-20). "Google News gets gamed by a crappy content farm". Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  17. ^"Unethical Business Practices by Associated Content (AC)". cutewriting.blogspot.in. Retrieved 2017-10-19. 
Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

Form

 

 

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016

OR

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from              to            

Commission File Number

 

 

Yahoo! Inc.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware 
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization) (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

701 First Avenue

Sunnyvale, California 94089

(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of Each Class

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common stock, $.001 par value 

The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC

(NASDAQ Global Select Market)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

(Title of Class)

 

 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of Registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form or any amendment to this Form

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer  

 Accelerated filer  

 (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

 Smaller reporting company  

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined by Rule of the Exchange Act).    Yes      No  

As of June 30, 2016, the last business day of the Registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the aggregate market value of voting stock held by of the Registrant, based upon the closing sales price for the Registrant’s common stock, as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market was $32,522,108,074. Shares of common stock held by each officer and director and by each person who owns 10 percent or more of the outstanding common stock have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for any other purpose.

The number of shares of the Registrant’s common stock outstanding as of February 10, 2017 was 956,487,217.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

The following documents (or parts thereof) are incorporated by reference into the following parts of this Form

Proxy Statement for the 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders—Part III Items 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14.

 

 

 


Table of Contents

YAHOO! INC.

Form

Fiscal Year Ended December  31, 2016

INDEX

 

The trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Yahoo! Inc. and its subsidiaries referred to herein include, but are not limited to, Yahoo!, the Yahoo family of marks, Tumblr, BrightRoll, Xobni, Flurry and Flurry Analytics, Altaba, and Polyvore, and their respective logos. Other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

 

2


Table of Contents

 

In addition to current and historical information, this Annual Report on Form contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to our future operations, prospects, potential products, services, developments, and business strategies. These statements can, in some cases, be identified by the use of terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “intend,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “project,” “potential,” or “continue,” the negative of such terms, or other comparable terminology. This Annual Report on Form includes, among others, forward-looking statements regarding:

 

 

expectations regarding the pending transaction with Verizon Communications Inc.;

 

 

the Security Incidents (as defined below);

 

 

expectations about revenue, including search, display, and other revenue, as well as revenue from our offerings in mobile, video, native, and social (“Mavens”);

 

 

expectations about the financial and operational impacts of our Search and Advertising Services and Sales Agreement with Microsoft Corporation and our Google Services Agreement with Google Inc.;

 

 

expectations about the opportunities for monetization of, and revenue growth from, our mobile offerings;

 

 

expectations about growth in users;

 

 

expectations about changes to our operating expenses;

 

 

anticipated capital expenditures;

 

 

expectations about changes in our earnings in equity interests and net income;

 

 

expectations about the amount of unrecognized tax benefits, the outcome of tax assessment appeals, the adequacy of our existing tax reserves, future tax expenditures, and tax rates;

 

 

expectations about the sufficiency of our available sources of liquidity to meet normal operating requirements and capital expenditures; and

 

 

expectations regarding the future outcome of legal proceedings in which we are involved.

These statements involve certain known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in our forward-looking statements. You are urged to carefully review the disclosures made concerning risks and uncertainties that may affect our business or operating results, which include, among others, those listed in Part 1, Item 1A “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form We do not intend, and undertake no obligation, to update or revise any of our forward-looking statements after the date of this Annual Report on Form to reflect new information, actual results or future events or circumstances.

 

3


Table of Contents

PART I

 

 

Item 1. Business

 

Yahoo! Inc., together with its consolidated subsidiaries (“Yahoo,” the “Company,” “we,” or “us”), is a guide to digital information discovery, focused on informing, connecting, and entertaining our users through our search, communications, and digital content products. By creating highly personalized experiences, we help users discover the information that matters most to them around the world—on mobile or desktop.

We create value for advertisers with a streamlined, simple advertising technology that leverages Yahoo’s data, content, and technology to connect advertisers with their target audiences. Advertisers can build their businesses through advertising to targeted audiences on our online properties and services (“Yahoo Properties”) and a distribution network of third-party entities (“Affiliates”) who integrate our advertising offerings into their websites or other offerings (“Affiliate sites”). Our revenue is generated principally from search and display advertising.

We are proud of our rich history that has evolved with the Internet, beginning in 1994 when our founders, Jerry Yang and David Filo, then graduate students at Stanford University, created Jerry and Dave’s Guide to the World Wide Web, a simple directory of websites to help people navigate the Internet. Yahoo was incorporated in 1995 and is a Delaware corporation. We completed our initial public offering on April 12, 1996, and our stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “YHOO.” Yahoo is a global company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

 

The current executive management team includes:

 

 

Marissa Mayer—President and Chief Executive Officer;

 

 

David and Chief Yahoo;

 

 

Ken Goldman—Chief Financial Officer;

 

 

Lisa Utzschneider—Chief Revenue Officer;

 

 

Debra Berman—Senior Vice President, Marketing;

 

 

Jeff Bonforte—Senior Vice President, Product and Engineering, Communications;

 

 

Adam Cahan—Senior Vice President, Product and Engineering, Video, Design and Emerging Products;

 

 

Simon Khalaf—Senior Vice President, Product and Engineering, Publisher Products;

 

 

Laurence Mann—Chief Information Officer;

 

 

Enrique Muñoz Torres—Senior Vice President, Product and Engineering, Advertising and Search;

 

 

Martha Nelson—Senior Vice President, Global

 

 

Bryan Power—Senior Vice President, People;

 

4


Table of Contents
 

Jay Rossiter—Senior Vice President, Product and Engineering, Science and Technology;

 

 

Rose Tsou—Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific; and

 

 

Ian Weingarten—Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Partnerships.

Our current Board of Directors is composed of:

 

 

Marissa Mayer, our President and CEO; Eric Brandt, our Chairman of the Board; Maynard Webb, our Chairman Emeritus; Tor Braham; David Filo; Catherine Friedman; Eddy Hartenstein; Richard Hill; Thomas McInerney; Jane Shaw Ph.D.; and Jeffrey Smith.

 

On July 23, 2016, we entered into a Stock Purchase Agreement (the “Original Stock Purchase Agreement”) with Verizon Communications Inc. (“Verizon”), pursuant to which we have agreed to sell, and Verizon has agreed to purchase (the “Sale”), all of the outstanding shares of Yahoo Holdings, Inc., a newly formed wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo (“Yahoo Holdings”) (and prior to the sale of Yahoo Holdings, to cause Yahoo Holdings to sell to a foreign subsidiary of Verizon all of the equity interests in a foreign subsidiary of Yahoo Holdings that will hold certain foreign subsidiaries relating to our operating business), which, immediately prior to the consummation of the Sale, will own our operating business. Under the Original Stock Purchase Agreement, the aggregate consideration to be paid to us by Verizon in connection with the Sale was $4,825,800,000 in cash, subject to certain adjustments as provided in the Original Stock Purchase Agreement.

Concurrently with the execution of the Original Stock Purchase Agreement, we entered into a Reorganization Agreement (the “Original Reorganization Agreement”) with Yahoo Holdings, pursuant to which we will transfer to Yahoo Holdings prior to the consummation of the Sale all of our assets and liabilities relating to our operating business, other than specified excluded assets and retained liabilities (the “Reorganization”).

On February 20, 2017, Yahoo and Verizon entered into an Amendment to Stock Purchase Agreement amending the Original Stock Purchase Agreement (the “SPA Amendment” and, together with the Original Stock Purchase Agreement, the “Amended Stock Purchase Agreement”), and, concurrently with the execution of the SPA Amendment, Yahoo and Yahoo Holdings entered into an Amendment to Reorganization Agreement amending the Original Reorganization Agreement (the “RA Amendment”). Additionally, concurrently with the execution of the SPA Amendment and the RA Amendment, Yahoo, Yahoo Holdings, and Verizon entered into a Settlement and Release Agreement (the “Settlement and Release Agreement”).

The SPA Amendment, among other things, (i) reduced the consideration to be paid by Verizon to Yahoo in connection with the Sale by $350,000,000 to $4,475,800,000, (ii) provided that certain data security incidents to which Yahoo has been subject will be disregarded for purposes of determining whether certain closing conditions have been satisfied and in determining whether a “Business Material Adverse Effect” has occurred, and (iii) provided that the date after which each of Yahoo and Verizon may terminate the Amended Stock Purchase Agreement if the Closing (as defined in the Amended Stock Purchase Agreement) has not occurred has been extended to July 24, 2017.

The RA Amendment provides, among other things, that Yahoo and Verizon will each be responsible for 50 percent of certain post-closing cash liabilities related to certain data security incidents and other data breaches incurred by the Company.

 

5


Table of Contents

Under the terms of the Settlement and Release Agreement, among other things, Verizon released certain claims, subject to certain exceptions, it (and its affiliates and representatives) may have against the Company (or its affiliates and representatives) relating to certain data security incidents and other data breaches incurred by the Company.

Upon completion of the Sale, Verizon will also receive for its benefit and that of its current and certain of its future affiliates, a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to certain intellectual property not core to the operating business held by Excalibur IP, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company (“Excalibur”), that is not being transferred to Yahoo Holdings with the operating business.

The excluded assets include our cash and marketable securities as of the closing of the Sale, our shares in Alibaba Group Holding Limited (“Alibaba Group”) and Yahoo Japan Corporation (“Yahoo Japan”), certain other minority equity investments, and all of the equity in Excalibur. The retained liabilities will include the 0.00% Convertible Senior Notes due 2018 (“Notes”) we issued in November 2013, securityholder litigation, certain director and officer indemnification obligations, and, pursuant to the RA Amendment, 50 percent of certain post-closing cash liabilities related to certain data security incidents and other data breaches incurred by Yahoo. Following the closing of the Sale, the excluded assets and retained liabilities will remain in Yahoo which will be renamed Altaba Inc. and will become an independent, publicly traded, management investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940.

The closing of the Sale is subject to certain conditions, including, among others, the approval of the Sale by our stockholders, the closing of the Reorganization, and certain other customary closing conditions.

For additional detail, refer to “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Yahoo is focused on informing, connecting, and entertaining our users with our search (Yahoo Search), communications (including Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger), and digital content products (including Tumblr, and our four core verticals: Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, and Yahoo Lifestyle).

Our user offerings include:

Yahoo Search serves as a guide for users to discover the information on the Internet that matters to them the most. In 2016, Yahoo continued to invest in platform enhancements; in acquiring new users through default search set and home page sets through our network and through partners; and in building out compelling search experiences for major events, such as the Summer Olympics and the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.

We plan to continue investing in a differentiated mobile and desktop search experience by allocating additional resources to develop new search advertising technology through our Yahoo Gemini platform that provides personalized, commercial results for the user and anticipates the user’s needs.

Under our Search and Advertising Services and Sales Agreement (“Search Agreement”) with Microsoft Corporation (“Microsoft”), Microsoft provides algorithmic and paid search advertising

 

6


Table of Contents

services on a basis for Yahoo Properties on mobile, desktop, and Affiliate sites. This agreement is subject to a volume commitment by the Company to request paid search results from Microsoft for 51 percent of its search queries originating from desktop computers accessing Yahoo Properties and its Affiliate sites and to display only Microsoft’s paid search results on such search result pages. In October 2015, Yahoo entered into the Google Services Agreement (the “Services Agreement”) with Google Inc. (“Google”) that provides Yahoo with additional flexibility to choose among suppliers of search results and ads. Google’s offerings complement the search services provided by Microsoft and Yahoo Gemini (Yahoo’s platform for search and native advertising). See “Advertiser Products” and “Advertising Formats” below for further information about our Yahoo Gemini platform. Yahoo continues to develop and launch features around the results to enhance the search experience for our users.

Yahoo Mail is a primary driver of engagement across our user offerings. Yahoo Mail connects users to the people and content most important to them across mobile and desktop. We support connecting external mail providers (such as Gmail, AOL, and Outlook) for users to manage multiple accounts from the Yahoo Mail client. Each Yahoo Mail account comes with one terabyte of free storage and is integrated with contacts, calendar, and messaging (see Yahoo Messenger section below). The Yahoo Mail mobile app includes user-centric features such as account key, compose assistant, document preview, and smart contacts.

Yahoo Messenger, our instant messaging service, provides an interactive and personalized way for users to connect, communicate, and share experiences in real-time. It incorporates many of our existing platforms including Tumblr and Xobni, with features like GIF search, “hearting” messages, and unsend. Yahoo Messenger is available as a mobile app, on the web, and also integrated directly into Yahoo Mail on desktop to drive deeper engagement with users.

Our Digital Content offerings include: Tumblr, our global social platform, and our four core verticals: Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, and Yahoo Lifestyle. Our Digital Content is available on mobile or desktop.

Yahoo News, which can be accessed through the Yahoo App and the Yahoo homepage at Yahoo.com, gives users access todiscover, consume, and engage around the news, content, and video they care about all in one place. We continue to provide current and trending news and information from Yahoo original editorial and partner content. Yahoo News is optimized to provide a consistent, content discovery experience across mobile and desktop with breaking news, local weather, a personalized content stream, and social sharing capabilities.

Yahoo Sportsserves one of the largest audiences of sports enthusiasts in the world and delivers experiences for every fan, every day. Yahoo Sports provides users access to Fantasy Sports.

Yahoo Finance provides a comprehensive set of financial data, information, and tools that helps users make informed financial decisions. The robust content on Yahoo Finance is a mix of Yahoo original editorial and syndicated news via relationships with several third-party partners.

Yahoo Lifestyle brings together content, commerce, and community to engage users passionate about style, fashion, and entertainment. Yahoo’s Lifestyle features Yahoo’s original editorial voice to deliver authoritative and authentic style and beauty content. With Polyvore, users have access to discover and publish their own style trends, and to buy items featured in articles and sets through

 

7


Table of Contents

direct integration with commerce sites. And as part of Yahoo’s long-standing distribution partnership with Hulu, Yahoo View gives users access to watch episodes of their favorite TV shows across mobile and desktop, and go beyond the episode with clips, recaps, and content from Tumblr.

Tumblr offers a web platform and mobile applications on iOS and Android that allow users to create, share, and curate content. Tumblr messaging enables users to engage with other users that share their same interests and passions.

 

Yahoo has two core advertiser products: Gemini and BrightRoll, which includes the BrightRoll Demand Side Platform and BrightRoll Exchange. Advertisers benefit from our comprehensive approach to digital advertising across search and display advertising, which includes native, video, premium, and audience ads. Gemini and BrightRoll are supported by Yahoo’s technology platform, data, and analytical tools.

Yahoo Gemini is Yahoo’s proprietary marketplace for search and native advertising across devices. Yahoo Gemini helps marketers achieve measurable results with intent-driven advertising. By leveraging Yahoo’s proprietary data, Gemini helps advertisers target the audiences they are interested in reaching across Yahoo Properties and third-party publishers and engage those audiences through search and native ads. Gemini search is focused on helping advertisers reach their target audiences at the moment the user has made a relevant search query. Gemini native ads are built to match the content that a user is exploring. By using the surrounding content to establish relevancy for targeting, Gemini native ads drive higher audience engagement and brand awareness for the advertiser.

BrightRoll is Yahoo’s unified brand for programmatic advertising technology, offering a suite of media-agnostic tools to help advertisers, publishers, and partners connect with users across ad formats and devices. The BrightRoll Demand Side Platform (“BrightRoll DSP”) is technology that enables brand and performance advertisers to plan, execute, optimize, and measure programmatic digital advertising campaigns. Our targeting solutions allow advertisers to reach users across Yahoo, exclusive publishing partners, and a wide variety of sites and mobile apps with the scale and efficiency of programmatic buying. BrightRoll DSP offers advertisers greater control and transparency with advanced programmatic buying capabilities and access to Yahoo’s proprietary data. Advertisers can reach the right people with custom audience definition and manage frequency on any device with independent campaign measurement and insights. The BrightRoll Exchange connects display, video, and native inventory from the top publishers and ad exchanges with demand from the top DSPs, agencies, ad networks, and advertisers. The BrightRoll Exchange delivers revenue to publishers with the goal of maximizing yield and offers buyers access to a variety of premium digital advertising inventory and unique data with the goal of enabling them to efficiently value supply.

Search Advertising.    Yahoo Gemini connects advertisers with the audiences across our network, with the support of strategic account teams, reporting, analytics, and extensive campaign controls. Yahoo continues to focus on developing new search ad formats, features, and capabilities to engage users and optimize performance across devices, including functionality, sitelink extensions, location extensions, and product ads. To provide the richest possible experience for our users, Yahoo also serves search ads from partners, including Microsoft and Google.

 

8


Table of Contents

Display Advertising.    Yahoo display ads leverage a comprehensive set of proprietary data signals to identify and engage the right users on Yahoo and across the web. With display ads, Yahoo can help brands make meaningful connections with the right users at the right time, across devices.

Native Advertising.    Yahoo native ads are a seamless part of a user’s experience on Yahoo sites across devices, as well as third-party partner publisher sites and mobile apps. This natural integration helps advertisers connect with people in a compelling and impactful way, driving awareness and performance, especially on mobile where native ads are the predominant ad format. Yahoo native ads are visually rich and come in a variety of formats, like text, image, and video that deliver measurable branding and sales results. Yahoo offers native ads through Yahoo Gemini and the BrightRoll DSP.

Video Advertising.    Yahoo video ads enable brands to align with premium, contextually relevant video programming across our properties and third party publisher partners. In addition, we leverage Yahoo’s unique user data to connect brands to their target audiences at scale across devices.

Premium Advertising.    Yahoo premium ads offer a unique and engaging canvas for brand storytelling. We offer high-impact advertising opportunities on Yahoo.com, Yahoo Mail, and program sponsorships of major events. Brands have the ability to anchor buys within premium content and scale programmatically, while applying unique data strategies to reach their target audience.

Audience Advertising.    Yahoo audience ads leverage a comprehensive set of proprietary data signals to identify and engage the right users on Yahoo and across the web. With audience ads, Yahoo can help brands make meaningful connections with the right users at the right time, across ad formats and devices.

 

The Yahoo Mobile Developer Suite gives developers the ability to measure, monetize, advertise, and improve their apps with Yahoo tools.

Flurry Analytics is a free mobile app analytics solution that is implemented in applications on more than 2 billion devices worldwide. Flurry is integrated in third-party applications via a lightweight software developer kit (“SDK”). Flurry provides mobile app developers insight into the actions their users are taking as well as their audience’s interests and demographics. Additionally, Flurry Pulse allows users to share data with partners and comScore for data validation.

Yahoo App Publishing (“YAP”) enables third-party app developers to monetize their app experiences with native and video advertising from Yahoo Gemini, Flurry, and BrightRoll advertisers. Developers can integrate YAP through the Flurry SDK.

Yahoo App Marketing gives third-party app developers the ability to advertise their apps through targeted native and video advertising on Yahoo, Tumblr, and across our app network. Yahoo App Marketing ads are powered by Yahoo Gemini and priced on a basis.

Tumblr Sharing allows developers to integrate a Tumblr sharing button into their app experiences to enable their users to share content directly to Tumblr without leaving their app. When a user shares content from a developer’s app, it will be posted to the user’s Tumblr blog along with a deep-link back to the developer’s app. By clicking this deep-link, users will be directed to the developer’s app, and if the user does not have the developer’s app, they will see a prompt to install it.

 

Yahoo continually launches, improves, and scales products and features to meet evolving user, advertiser, and publisher needs. Most of our software products and features are developed internally.

 

9


Table of Contents

In some instances, however, we might purchase technology and license intellectual property rights if the opportunity is strategically aligned, operationally compatible, and economically advantageous. While it may be necessary in the future to seek or renew licenses relating to various aspects of our products, we believe based on past experience and industry practice that such licenses generally could be obtained on commercially-reasonable terms. We believe our continuing innovation and product development are not materially dependent upon any single license or other agreement with a third-party relating to the development of our products.

Yahoo’s product teams, which include a broad array of engineering and product talent, support a large portion of the Yahoo product portfolio and technology infrastructure. Our product teams have expertise in web and mobile user applications, scalable software platforms, information retrieval, machine learning and science, editorial, networking/communications technologies, and presentation layer frameworks. We take security and privacy very seriously, and continuously innovate to protect our users and their data.

Our engineering and production teams are primarily located in our Sunnyvale, California headquarters. Product development expenses for 2014, 2015, and 2016 totaled approximately $1,156 million, $1,178 million, and $1,055 million, respectively, which included stock-based compensation expense of $139 million, $190 million, and $213 million, respectively.

 

We manage our business geographically. The primary areas of measurement and decision-making are Americas, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and Asia Pacific. Additional information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to Note 18—“Segments” of the Notes to our consolidated financial statements, which appears in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form

We own a majority or 100 percent of all of these international operations (except in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan where we have joint ventures and/or noncontrolling interests). We support these businesses through a network of offices worldwide.

Revenue is primarily attributed to individual countries according to the international online property that generated the revenue.

Information regarding risks involving our international operations is included in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form and is incorporated herein by reference.

 

We sell our advertising services through four primary channels: field, reseller/small business, and platform and exchange. Our field advertising sales team sells display advertising in all markets and search advertising to both premium and advertisers using Yahoo Gemini. Previously under the Search Agreement, Yahoo had sales exclusivity for both the Company’s and Microsoft’s premium advertisers. Pursuant to the current terms of the Search Agreement, as amended on April 15, 2015 by the Eleventh Amendment to the Search Agreement (the “Eleventh Amendment”), this sales exclusivity terminated on July 1, 2015. In 2016, the Company and Microsoft completed the transition of premium advertisers for Microsoft’s paid search services to Microsoft on a basis (other than Taiwan and Hong Kong which will not transition). Our channel sells our advertising services to businesses, while our reseller/small business channel allows us to sell advertising services to additional regional and small business

 

10


Table of Contents

advertisers. Our platform sales team sells display, video and native advertising through the BrightRoll DSP, Yahoo’s demand side platform to agencies and agency trading desks. Our exchange sales team sells display, video and native advertising through the BrightRoll Exchange, Yahoo’s ad marketplace, to demand side platforms, agency trading desks and brands. Our U.S. sales force is structured vertically, allowing us to offer customers integrated customer-centric solutions. We believe this approach allows us to provide the best solutions across all of our products based on a deeper understanding of our customers’ businesses.

In the U.S., we employ sales professionals in multiple locations, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Hillsboro, the Los Angeles area, Miami, New York, Omaha, San Francisco, and Sunnyvale as of December 31, 2016. In international markets, we either have our own internal sales professionals or rely on our established sales agency relationships in 35 countries, regions, and territories as of December 31, 2016.

Revenue under the Search Agreement represented approximately 35 percent, 35 percent, and 37 percent of our revenue for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively, and no other individual customer represented more than 10 percent of our revenue in 2014, 2015, or 2016.

Internet usage is subject to seasonal fluctuations, typically declining during customary summer vacation periods and increasing during the fourth quarter holiday period due to higher online retail activity. These seasonal patterns have affected, and we expect will continue to affect, our business and quarterly sequential revenue growth rates.

 

Yahoo is one of the most recognized brands in the world. Our products, services, and content enable us to attract, retain, and engage users, advertisers, and publishers. Our marketing team will help shape our offerings to better market them to our potential and existing users.

 

Our industry is characterized by rapid evolution and innovation through disruptive technologies. We face significant competition from a wide range of businesses, particularly companies that seek to connect people with digital content and with each other. We compete on a global scale for audience share, marketers, and talent. Our competition includes:

 

 

General purpose search engines and information services such as Alphabet’s Google and Microsoft’s Bing.

 

 

Companies such as Facebook and Twitter that provide mail, photo sharing, blogging, microblogging, and other social or communication services. These areas are attracting an increasing share of users, users’ online time (across mobile and desktop), and advertising dollars.

 

 

Companies that offer an integrated variety of Internet products, advertising services, technologies, online services, and/or content in a manner similar to us that compete for the attention of our users, advertisers, developers, and third-party website publishers. We also compete with these companies to obtain agreements with third parties to promote or distribute our services.

 

 

Digital, broadcast, and print media companies with which we compete for the attention of consumer audiences and share of advertising dollars. This area has become increasingly competitive as traditional media companies make the shift online to compete for users, users’ time, and advertising dollars across mobile and desktop.

 

11


Table of Contents
 

Advertising networks, exchanges, demand side and supply side platforms, and traditional media companies, with which we compete for a share of advertisers’ marketing budgets and in the development of the tools and systems for managing and optimizing advertising campaigns.

 

 

Companies that provide analytics, monetization and marketing tools for mobile and desktop developers.

 

 

In a number of international markets, especially those in Asia, Europe, Middle East and Latin America, we face substantial competition from local Internet service providers and other entities that offer search, communications, and other commercial services and often have a competitive advantage due to dominant market share in their territories, greater local brand recognition, focus on a single market, familiarity with local tastes and preferences, or greater regulatory and operational flexibility.

As we introduce new products and our existing products evolve, we may become subject to additional competition.

We believe our principal competitive strengths relating to attracting users include the usefulness, accessibility, integration, and personalization of the online services that we offer; the quality, personalization, and presentation of our search results; and the overall user experience on our premium properties. Our principal competitive strengths relating to attracting advertisers and publishers are the reach, effectiveness, and efficiency of our marketing services as well as the creativity of the marketing solutions that we offer.

Additional information regarding competition is included in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form and is incorporated herein by reference.

 

We create, own, and maintain a wide array of intellectual property assets that we believe are among our most valuable assets. Our intellectual property assets include patents and patent applications related to our innovations, products and services; trademarks related to our brands, products and services; copyrights in software and creative content; trade secrets; and other intellectual property rights and licenses of various kinds. We seek to protect our intellectual property assets through patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks and laws of the U.S. and other countries, and through contractual provisions. We enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and contractors, and utilize agreements with third parties with whom we conduct business in order to secure and protect our proprietary rights and to limit access to, and disclosure of, our proprietary information. We consider the Yahoo! trademark and our many related company brands to be among our most valuable assets, and we have registered these trademarks in the U.S. and other countries throughout the world and actively seek to protect them. We have licensed in the past, and expect that we may license in the future, certain of our technology and proprietary rights, such as trademark, patent, copyright, and trade secret rights, to third parties. In addition, Excalibur, our wholly owned subsidiary, owns a portfolio of patent assets that are not core to our operating business (the “Excalibur IP Assets”). Upon completion of the Sale transaction with Verizon, (i) Excalibur will remain an asset of Altaba Inc., and (ii) Verizon will receive, for its benefit and that of its current and certain of its future affiliates, a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to the Excalibur IP Assets.

Additional information regarding certain risks related to our intellectual property is included in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form and is incorporated herein by reference.

 

12


Table of Contents

 

As of December 31, 2016, we had approximately 8,500 full-time employees and 600 contractors. Our future success is substantially dependent on the performance of our senior management and key technical personnel, as well as our continuing ability to attract, maintain the caliber of, and retain highly qualified technical, executive, and managerial personnel. We remain committed to our talented employees and providing the best possible workplace culture for them. Additional information regarding certain risks related to our employees is included in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form and is incorporated herein by reference.

 

Our website is located at https://www.yahoo.com. Our investor relations website is located at https://investor.yahoo.net. We make available free of charge on our investor relations website under “Financial Info” our Annual Reports on Form Quarterly Reports on Form Current Reports on Form and any amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file or furnish such materials to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The SEC maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding our filings at http://www.sec.gov.

 

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors

We face significant competition from online search engines, sites offering integrated internet products and services, social media and networking sites, sites, companies providing analytics, monetization and marketing and publishing tools for mobile and desktop advertisers, publishers, developers and distributors, and digital, broadcast and print media. In a number of international markets, especially those in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, we face substantial competition from local Internet service providers and other entities that offer search, communications, and other commercial services.

Several of our competitors offer an integrated variety of Internet products, advertising services, technologies, online services and content. We compete against these and other companies to attract and retain users, advertisers, developers, and third-party website publishers as participants in our Affiliate network, and to obtain agreements with third parties to promote or distribute our services. We also compete with social media and networking sites which are increasingly used to communicate and share information, and which are attracting a substantial and increasing share of users, users’ online time, content, and online advertising dollars.

A key element of our strategy is increasing revenue growth. As part of this strategy, we are focusing on mobile products and mobile advertising formats, as well as increasing our revenue from mobile. A number of our competitors also have devoted significant resources to the development of products, services and apps for mobile devices. Several of our competitors have mobile revenue significantly greater than ours. If we are unable to develop products for mobile devices that users find engaging and that help us grow our mobile revenue, our competitive position, our financial condition and our operating results could be harmed.

In addition, a number of competitors offer products, services and apps that directly compete for users with our offerings, including

Leave a Comment

(0 Comments)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *