Yahoo! Inc., together with its consolidated subsidiaries (“Yahoo!,” the “Company,” “we,” or “us”), attracts hundreds of millions of users every month through its innovative technology and engaging content and services, making it one of the most trafficked Internet destinations and a world class online media company. Yahoo!’s vision is to be the center of people’s online lives by delivering personally relevant, meaningful Internet experiences. To users, we provide online properties and services (“Yahoo! Properties” or our “Owned and Operated sites”). To advertisers, we provide a range of marketing services designed to reach and connect with users of our Owned and Operated sites, as well as with Internet users beyond Yahoo! Properties, through a distribution network of third-party entities (our “Affiliates”) that have integrated our advertising offerings into their Websites, referred to as Affiliate sites, or their other offerings. We believe that our marketing services enable advertisers to deliver highly relevant marketing messages to their target audiences.
We generate revenues by providing marketing services to advertisers across a majority of Yahoo! Properties and Affiliate sites. Our marketing services offerings include the display of graphical advertisements (“display advertising”), the display of text-based links to an advertiser’s Website (“search advertising”), listing-based services, and commerce-based transactions. Additionally, although many of the services we provide to users are free, we charge fees for a number of premium services.
Our offerings to users on Yahoo! Properties currently fall into four categories: Integrated Consumer Experiences, Applications (Communications and Communities), Search, and Media Products and Solutions. The majority of our offerings are available in more than 25 languages.
Yahoo! was developed and first made available in 1994 by our founders, David Filo and Jerry Yang, while they were graduate students at Stanford University. We were incorporated in 1995 and are a Delaware corporation. We are headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and have offices in more than 25 countries, regions, and territories.
Changes in Management and Board of Directors
During 2009, we made key changes to our executive leadership. On January 13, 2009, Carol Bartz was named Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and a member of the Board of Directors (the “Board”). On July 1, 2009, Timothy R. Morse became Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) of Yahoo!. During the fourth quarter of 2009, Carl Icahn and Maggie Wilderotter resigned from our Board. Sue James was elected to the Board, effective January 11, 2010. She was also named Chair of the Board’s Audit Committee.
• Entered into a Search and Advertising Services and Sales Agreement (the “Search Agreement”) and a License Agreement with Microsoft Corporation (“Microsoft”), pursuant to which Microsoft will become Yahoo!’s exclusive platform technology provider for algorithmic and paid search services and Yahoo! will be the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers.
• Acquired Maktoob.com, a leading online portal in the Middle East with users from the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai. This acquisition will allow Yahoo! to build a stronger presence in the growing Middle East market.
We expect to continue to acquire or make investments in companies, products, services, and technologies in the future. See Note 3—“Acquisitions” of the Notes to the consolidated financial statements, which appears in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information related to our acquisitions.
Users—Engagement and Offerings
• Launched the new Yahoo! homepage, which brings together the leading tools and content from across the Web, combined with leading content and services from Yahoo! Properties, to give users one place to access the people and things that matter to them most.
• Launched a new version of Yahoo! Mail, which makes it easier for people to get things done in Mail by prioritizing messages and updates from the people most important to them, providing new photo sharing tools, and offering new applications.
• Launched Yahoo!’s new mobile homepage, simplifying the mobile experience and allowing consumers to bring together their favorite content and services from anywhere across the Internet in one location. The mobile homepage is currently available in 38 markets on more than 1,900 devices. In addition to creating mobile browser services, Yahoo! also develops mobile applications for a variety of platforms including new applications that bring key Yahoo! Properties, such as Yahoo! Finance and Flickr, to mobile.
• Launched a new version of Yahoo! Messenger instant messaging (“IM”) services with improved interactive video and social features which make it easier for our users to communicate with each other.
• Launched Ad Interest Manager as a central place where Yahoo! users can see a concise summary of their online activity and make easy, personal choices about their exposure to interest-based advertising.
• Launched two new retargeting products and demographic targeting (for search ads), each designed to help brand and performance advertisers better reach their targeted audiences.
• Launched a Smart Ads partner program which combines Yahoo!’s consumer insights and rich media capabilities with a new ad serving technology that automatically converts advertisers’ creative campaign elements and targeted offerings into customized display ads for the targeted group of consumers.
• Rolled out a series of enhancements to Yahoo! Search Marketing that makes it easier for advertisers to reach their targeted customers and improve their search advertising performance. Enhancements include the new Ad Delivery Report, pricing updates for advertisers to better align what advertisers pay with the value of the clicks they receive and a new advertisement selection platform to improve the relevance of search ads.
Our offerings to users on Yahoo! Properties currently fall into four categories: Integrated Consumer Experiences, Applications (Communications and Communities), Search, and Media Products and Solutions.
Yahoo!’s mobile services are available across the Company’s network of properties and through partnerships. Yahoo! has distribution partnerships with more than 80 carriers and original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) around the world for distributing its mobile services.
Integrated Consumer Experiences
Our Integrated Consumer Experiences offerings include the Yahoo! Home Page, My Yahoo!, Yahoo! Toolbar, Yahoo! Local, and Connected TV—all are entry points to the Yahoo! experience, whether via the Web, mobile or TV. These offerings are generally provided to users free of charge. We generate revenues from these offerings primarily from search and display advertising.
Yahoo! Home Page (www.yahoo.com) is a navigation hub and starting point into Yahoo! Properties and the Internet, via a personal computer (“PC”) or mobile device. This is where users have the ability to perform a Web search, read the latest news, and find links to other Yahoo! Websites.
My Yahoo! is a personalized start page that delivers registered users information of personal interest to registered users via a user-customized interface.
Yahoo! Toolbar is a Web browser add-on that conveniently enables users to access Yahoo! Properties and third-party content via applications from anywhere on the Web.
Yahoo! Local is a stand-alone local search offering, which helps users find local business listings and related content such as recommendations, user reviews, merchant photos, and maps.
Connected TV seamlessly integrates the Internet into the television experience in an open platform. We have distribution relationships with the top three global television manufacturers.
Our Communications offerings, including Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger, provide a wide range of communication services to users and small businesses across a variety of devices and through our broadband Internet access partners. We offer some services free of charge to our users and also provide some services on a fee or subscription basis. We generate display advertising and fees revenues from these offerings.
Yahoo! Mail provides users with full-featured e-mail functionality. In addition to our free e-mail service, for a subscription fee, we offer Yahoo! Mail Plus, a premium e-mail service that provides features such as a display-ad-free interface.
Yahoo! Messenger instant messaging service provides an interactive and personalized way for people to connect and share experiences on a real-time basis. Yahoo! currently offers mobile applications for Yahoo! Messenger.
Our Communities offerings, including Yahoo! Groups, Yahoo! Answers, and Flickr, enable users to organize into groups and share knowledge, common interests, and photos. We generate revenues from our Communities offerings primarily through display advertising.
Yahoo! Groups provides members with shared access to information such as message archives, photo albums, event calendars, and polls.
Yahoo! Answers is a service where anyone can ask and answer questions on any topic.
Flickr is an online photo management and sharing service that makes it easy for users to upload, store, organize, and share their photos. In addition to the basic service, Flickr offers a fee-based service with unlimited storage, uploads, and an advertising-free browsing and sharing interface. Yahoo! currently offers mobile applications for Flickr.
Our Search offering is available free to users and is often the starting point for our users to navigate the Internet and search for information. We generate revenues through our Search offerings on Yahoo! and affiliate sites.
Yahoo! Search, our proprietary search technology, provides users with a free search capability with search results ranked and sorted based on relevance to the users’ search query. Pages on the Internet are ranked according to their relevance to a particular query by analyzing document features, including text, title and description accuracy, source, associated links, and other unique document characteristics. Sponsored search results are a subset of the overall search results and provide links to paying advertisers’ Web pages. Yahoo! currently offers mobile applications for Yahoo! Search.
On December 4, 2009, Yahoo! entered into a Search and Advertising Services and Sales Agreement and a License Agreement with Microsoft under which Microsoft will be Yahoo!’s exclusive platform technology provider for algorithmic and paid search services and Yahoo! will become the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—2009 Highlights—Search and License Agreements with Microsoft.”
Media Products and Solutions
Our Media Products and Solutions offerings are designed to engage users with some of the most relevant and compelling online content and services on the Web broadly organized in one of the following two areas:
Our online Media properties include several of the most visited news and entertainment destinations on the Internet. We generate revenue on our Media properties from display and search advertising and fee-based services. Our Media properties include the following:
Yahoo! News provides stories from the major news agencies that are aggregated by our editorial team and augmented by in-house generated content focused on up-to-the-minute news coverage with video, text, photos, and audio.
Yahoo! Finance provides a comprehensive set of financial data, information, and tools that helps users make informed financial decisions. The content is primarily provided through relationships with a number of third-party providers. Some of these providers pay a fee when a user is referred from Yahoo! Finance to their Websites. Some financial content, such as analyst research reports, is also available to users for a fee. Yahoo! currently offers mobile applications for Yahoo! Finance.
Yahoo! Sports offers free and fee-based fantasy games, up-to-the-minute sports news, real-time statistics, scores and game updates, broadcast programming, integrated shopping, and an online sports community. Yahoo! Sports offers mobile applications for specific areas of interest to our users, such as Yahoo! Fantasy Football, along with generalized sports content via our Yahoo! Mobile site.
Yahoo! Entertainment & Lifestyles represents a collection of properties that provides users with information, and other engaging content centered around popular culture-related themes and activities with sites such as Yahoo! Movies, Yahoo! Music, Yahoo! TV, including “Prime Time in No Time” which provides quick recaps of the previous evening’s prime time television shows, celebrity news (omg!), Yahoo! Games, and women’s lifestyles (Shine). In addition, our Media properties also include Websites devoted to specialty topics such as Yahoo! Health, Yahoo! Tech, Yahoo! Education, and Yahoo! Weather.
Other Offerings and Services
Our other offerings and services include Yahoo! Shopping, Yahoo! Travel, Yahoo! Real Estate, Yahoo! HotJobs, Yahoo! Personals, Yahoo! Autos, and Yahoo! Small Business. On these properties, users can research specific topics, products, services or areas of interest by reviewing and exchanging information, obtaining contact details or considering offers from providers of goods, services, or parties with similar interests. We generate revenue from listing fees, transaction fees, and display and search advertising on many of these properties as well as from subscription fees for hosting, registering domains, and other services to small businesses seeking to maintain a Website. We also have properties tailored to users in specific international markets, which include commerce (auctions), blogging, and social networking Websites. Commerce properties, primarily based in our Asian markets, allow prospective buyers and sellers to enter into an online auction for goods for which we earn a posting and transaction fee. These properties include Wretch and Monday in Taiwan.
ADVERTISER AND PUBLISHER OFFERINGS AND SERVICES
We seek to provide the most efficient and effective marketing services for advertisers and publishers. Advertisers are increasing their use of online media as consumers shift their media consumption away from traditional television and print media towards the Internet. We offer Internet marketing solutions that enable users to interact with our advertisers’ brands and also provide valuable insights to our advertisers and publishers about their customer base. We offer a suite of targeted marketing services for our advertisers and publishers, which includes brand building to increase consumer awareness, direct marketing, lead generation, and commerce services. We offer publishers the opportunity to integrate our advertising offerings into their Websites and other online offerings. Our offerings enable advertisers to display their advertisements in different formats and in different locations on Yahoo! Properties and such Affiliate sites and to optimize their performance against their marketing objectives.
In addition, we offer a broad range of tools for online display advertising, including rich media, video, and targeting. Our knowledge of our audience enables advertisers to reach their desired communities by placing contextually relevant advertising on both our Owned and Operated and our Affiliates sites.
We generate revenues by providing marketing services to advertisers across a majority of Yahoo! Properties and Affiliate sites. The majority of our marketing services revenue is from sales of search and display advertising.
DEVELOPERS AND PLATFORM OFFERINGS
We provide several software and platform offerings for third-party developers, advertisers, and publishers. Our top priority is to enable innovation in the user experience on Yahoo!. Our goal is to continue to create more personally relevant Web experiences for consumers and to make Yahoo! an even more valuable asset to advertisers. We believe open platforms accelerate this goal by attracting and enabling third-party developers/partners to build and incorporate new products and innovations that users want into our product experiences. We are committed to providing the developer community with products that solve their problems and enhance the development experience, positioning Yahoo! as a leader in the technical evolution of the Web.
Our offerings to developers and platforms for advertisers and publishers include:
Yahoo! Developer Network (“Y!DN”) is the central source for developers, independent software vendors, partners, and advertisers to find resources and technical support for leveraging Yahoo! platforms, APIs, and development tools.
Yahoo! Open Strategy (“Y!OS”) platform is an initiative designed both to make the Yahoo! experience both more social for our users and to open Yahoo! to innovation by third-party developers and publishers. By allowing third-party developers, publishers, and advertisers to develop applications that integrate with Yahoo! products and leverage Yahoo!’s data we are enabling experimentation and innovation in the user experience on both Yahoo! and the Web.
Yahoo! Application Platform (“Y!AP”) is an application platform that third-party developers, including publishers and advertisers, can use to create innovative applications and consumer experiences that will function across the Yahoo! network and beyond.
Yahoo! Updates allows developers and publishers to syndicate user-generated actions from Yahoo! on their website and vice versa, integrating social data and actions into new applications and services.
Yahoo! Query Language (“YQL”) is a simple language that enables developers to query, filter, and join data across different Web services. Traditionally, developers must locate the correct URLs and documentation for every Web service needed by an application, which is time consuming and complex. With YQL, developers can access and shape data across the Internet with one simple syntax, eliminating the need to learn how to call different APIs and making it possible for applications to run faster with fewer lines of code and a smaller network footprint.
Yahoo! Search BOSS is an open search web services platform that enables developers, start-ups, and large Internet companies to build web-scale search products by utilizing the entire Yahoo! Search index.
SearchMonkey is a leading open search platform that allows developers and Website owners to use structured data to make Yahoo! Search results more useful and visually appealing, and drive more relevant traffic to their Websites.
We manage our business geographically based on two segments: United States and International. Additional information required by this item is incorporated herein by reference to Note 14—“Segments” of the Notes to the consolidated financial statements, which appears in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We provide services in more than 25 languages and in more than 50 countries, regions, and territories, including localized versions of Yahoo! in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Middle East, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Scandinavia (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
Outside of native English speaking countries, we provide some of our most popular user services through Yahoo! Asia (our English language portal to Southeast Asia), Yahoo! Canada en Français (French Canadian Website), and Yahoo! En Espanol (United States Hispanic Website).
We own our international operations (except in Australia, China, Japan, and New Zealand where we have joint ventures and/or noncontrolling interests). We support these businesses through a network of offices worldwide.
Revenues are primarily attributed to individual countries according to the international online property that generated the revenues.
Information regarding risks involving our international operations is included in Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and is incorporated herein by reference.
We maintain four primary channels for selling our advertising services: field, telesales, online, and reseller. Our field advertising sales team sells display and search marketing services to leading advertisers and agencies. Our telesales channel sells our services to medium-sized businesses, while our online channel is a self-service program primarily for small businesses. Our reseller channel enables Yahoo! to sell advertising services to additional regional and small business advertisers.
In the United States, we employ sales professionals in multiple locations, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Hillsboro, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Omaha, San Francisco, and Sunnyvale. In the international markets, we have either our own internal sales professionals or we have established sales agency relationships in 50 countries, regions, and territories.
No individual customer represented more than 10 percent of our revenues in 2007, 2008, or 2009.
Internet usage is subject to seasonal fluctuations, typically declining during customary summer vacation periods and becoming most active during the fourth quarter holiday period due to increased online retail activity. This seasonality pattern has affected, and we expect will continue to affect, our business and quarterly sequential revenue growth rates.
Yahoo! continually enhances, expands, and launches products and features to meet evolving user, advertiser, and publisher needs for technological innovation and a deeper, more integrated experience.
Most of our software products and features are developed internally by Yahoo! employees. In some instances, however, we might purchase technology and license intellectual property rights if the opportunity is strategically aligned, operationally compatible, and economically advantageous. We believe that Yahoo! is not materially dependent upon licenses or other agreements with third parties relating to product development.
Our Product Development organization includes Yahoo! Labs. This organization includes our industry-leading Yahoo! Research group, our Applied Sciences group and our Academic Relations team, which has spearheaded key relationships with some of the world’s most influential universities and institutions. Yahoo! Labs is designed to foster the long-term scientific competitiveness of Yahoo! as a world leader on the Internet through cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary research in a variety of fields, including economic theory, computer science, artificial intelligence, and various social sciences. In addition to Yahoo! Labs, the Product Development organization contains our Cloud Computing group which provides the common computing infrastructure upon which Yahoo!’s product are delivered, including grid computing. Finally, the Product Development organization contains our Consumer Platforms group, which focuses on the common elements that are embedded in multiple Yahoo! Products. These elements include the user data base and login, video and social connection platforms.
Our engineering and production teams are primarily located in our Sunnyvale, California headquarters and in Bangalore, India and Burbank, California. Product development expenses for 2007, 2008, and 2009 totaled approximately $1.1 billion, $1.2 billion, and $1.2 billion, respectively, which included stock-based compensation expense of $218 million, $178 million, and $206 million, respectively.
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 patent, copyright, trade secret, trademark and other 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 non-disclosure agreements with third parties with whom we conduct business in order to secure our proprietary rights and additionally limit access to, and disclosure of, our proprietary information. We consider the Yahoo! trademark and our many related trademarks to be among our most valuable assets and we have registered these trademarks in the U.S. and other countries throughout the world and aggressively seek to protect them. We have licensed in the past, and expect that we may license in the future, certain of our proprietary rights, such as trademark, patent, copyright, and trade secret rights to third parties. 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 10-K.
As of December 31, 2009, we had approximately 13,900 full-time employees. 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 and managerial personnel. Additional information regarding certain risks related to our employees is included in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.