Yahoo!, SBC Improve Internet Service

NEW YORK Yahoo! and SBC Communications Tuesday introduced enhancements to their co-branded dial-up and high-speed Internet connection services, including a pop-up ad blocker.

The pop-up blocker, which can be integrated into the SBC Yahoo! browser, lets subscribers control the quantity and type of pop-up ads they receive or ban them completely. Other new features include additional anti-virus protection, expanded parental controls and a redesigned, customizable home page.

The improvements come one year after the Sunnyvale, Calif., Web portal and San Antonio-based Internet service provider unveiled SBC Yahoo! DSL (the broadband service) and SBC Yahoo! Dial (the narrowband service).

The co-branding alliance, which was struck in November 2001, was a part of an effort by Yahoo! to diversify its revenue stream beyond advertising; for Yahoo!, the agreement provides monthly per-subscriber payments from SBC. The diversification strategy appears to be paying off: second-quarter revenue from Yahoo!’s fees-related services, including its dial-up and DSL products, rose 43 percent to nearly $70 million [IQ Daily Briefing, July 10].

The companies also launched today a new SBC Yahoo! DSL and Dial small business portal with features built specifically for the workplace, including premium content, additional e-mail storage and online marketing services. To target this audience, SBC yesterday broke a campaign from Rodgers Townsend in St. Louis. TV and print ads, themed “Seeing small business differently,” use the image of a side-by-side apple and an orange to illustrate the different needs of small businesses.