Called Webcast Studio Professional, the service gives companies the ability to broadcast their own audio or video events through the Internet to employees and clients. For a licensing fee of $250,000 a year, plus an additional fee of $2,000 to $5,000 per event, companies can customize Webcasts for specific functions such as training sessions, companywide meetings and sales events.
The technology is not new, but the service marks a shift in pricing. Previously, companies entrusted all of the Webcast technology and management to Yahoo's engineers. Now, they pay a licensing fee to do it themselves.
Yahoo has been involved in corporate Webcasting since acquiring Broadcast.com in 1999 for $5 billion in stock. It has used its Yahoo Broadcast division to tap revenue from corporations looking to use the Internet to enhance their internal functions. The success of these efforts remains unclear, as does the size of the market.
Still, Yahoo believes it sits in an advantageous position in anticipation of a boom in corporate multimedia Webcasting services.
"The adoption rate will be much faster than getting e-mail adopted across Fortune 500 accounts," said Jim Lewandowski, Yahoo's vice president of enterprise solutions.
However, Yahoo would not say how much revenue it generates from its corporate Webcasting services.
For the first quarter of 2002, Yahoo reported $54.9 million in revenue from its fees and listings businesses--which include Yahoo Broadcast--up from $33.2 million during the same period last year. Yahoo also said that fees and listings accounted for 20 percent of the company's revenue.
Yahoo added that nine companies have already entered into licensing agreements to use the Webcasting service, including Compaq Computer and Texas Instruments.
Separately, Yahoo named Jeff Schrock as general manager of Yahoo Broadcast Solutions. Schrock was previously the founder and CEO of Activate, a Webcasting services company.