Moving to Monetize the Franchise


Continuing with its push to monetize the franchise, Yahoo! Inc.’s GeoCities
unit launched two new fee-based packages — GeoCities Pro and GeoCities
Webmaster.


Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo! said GeoCities remains a
free service at base, but the premium packages “give consumers access to
advanced page-building tools and features including personal domain names
that offer greater storage capacity, further personalization and more
flexibility with their individual Web sites.”


Yahoo! has been
aggressively trying to diversify its revenue stream
to lessen its
dependence on Internet advertising, currently in rather large decline.


The GeoCities Pro package is priced at $8.95 per month with a one-time $15
set-up fee. It gives consumers a personal domain name), five e-mail accounts
linked to that domain, 25 megabytes of storage, 10 gigabytes of data
transfer, and five sub-domains that help organize and direct viewers through
the site.


For $11.95 per month plus the $15 set-up fee, the Webmaster service offers
double the amount of storage space, data transfer, personal e-mail accounts
and sub-domains. The Webmaster package also includes access to 20 Site Wizard
templates for building professional, multi-page sites and allows customers to
add a search function to their site.


For an additional $5 per month, Pro and Webmaster consumers can add extra
storage in 50 megabyte increments.


The new offerings “are perfect examples of how we are adding premium services
to our network when and where they deliver the most value to our users,”
said Mark Feldman, senior producer at Yahoo! GeoCities. The services “enhance
the overall user experience by responding to their requests for more
sophisticated and high-quality page-building tools at competitively low
prices,” he said.


Yahoo! acquired GeoCities back in 1999. The portal has been responding to the ad
slump by turning to e-commerce and other venues, but the company said in
July
that it predicts several more quarters of serious trouble in the ad
market.

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