Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting turns into streaming tie for Verizon’s growing Yahoo finance


The Omaha Oracle has become a streaming star.

Warren Buffett, their Berkshire Hathaway The steps of the conglomerate are closely followed by the investment community and each spring preside over the company’s annual meeting. While every company has a shareholder event, Berkshire is different. With 40,000 enthusiastic participants, it is a financial forum, a congress, a rally and a fair in equal parts. Held at the Omaha home base in Nebraska during non-pandemic times, it offers the 90-year-old billionaire insights into his company’s portfolio and the broader markets.

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Yahoo Finance will have exclusive global streaming rights for the 2021 meeting, which is the sixth consecutive year under this agreement. This year’s May 1st edition will be virtual like 2020 due to the ongoing security concerns related to Covid-19. Buffett and other executives are expected to perform online from an LA venue. Editor-in-chief Andy Serwer will be one of the few outsiders admitted, and will conduct pre- and post-show interviews with Buffett and a number of others.

When the world was in chaos and financial uncertainty during the pandemic outbreak last spring, viewers flocked to the Berkshire Hathaway meetup. It attracted 2.5 million live streams and a total audience of 28.4 million across Yahoo, connected TV apps, and social media. The average playback time was 19.2 minutes, which is robust compared to the digital video standards overall.

For Yahoo and its parent company Verizon Media, the streaming event was a way to advance its goal of reaching younger and more female audiences. Current comscore numbers are displayed Yahoo The financial network is # 1 for women and Gen Z. Women spent 1.4 billion minutes viewing the company’s content in January, 43% of the time women spent viewing financial news on the Internet.

In an interview with Deadline, Joanna Lambert, Head of Consumer at Verizon MediaThe Berkshire effort and Yahoo Finance’s eight-hour live streaming blocks every day are becoming increasingly important.

“We feel very good that Verizon Media has grown back as a division for the first time since integrating Yahoo in recent quarters,” she said.

In the final quarter, for the first time since it acquired Yahoo in 2017, the media saw double-digit growth as revenue increased 11% year over year.

In addition to advertising – a challenging area of ​​the digital ecosystem for a variety of reasons – Verizon has moved increasingly to subscriptions. In the last quarter, premium subscriptions were up 19.5% year over year Yahoo Finance Premium subscriptions almost quintuple.

Verizon has adjusted its strategic course with its media activities in recent years. Broadband and wireless Titan invested heavily in media under its previous leadership regime. In a joint venture with Hearst, the company acquired AOL and Yahoo and an ultimately unsuccessful mobile video service, Go90. By 2018, Oath had to take a $ 4.6 billion write-down, as the media assets were known at the time.

Today, Verizon is more disciplined in its media strategy, and Lambert acknowledges that “ownership and operation are a smaller part of the portfolio” than in the previous era. The company has remained in the entertainment industry as a partner with Disney, Discovery, Apple, and others as a distributor and wireless operator. And the Yahoo industries – news, finance, and entertainment – show surprising resilience in their second decades, an eternity in the digital age.

Technology always brings new horizons. As overall streaming increases, Yahoo’s apps are available on a number of platforms including leading gateways like Roku and Amazon Fire TV. This year, the company will also be broadcasting Berkshire Hathaway coverage live on TikTok, part of its youth offensive. The company’s social media presence increased mobile video viewing in the US by 68% in February.

“We think it’s important that younger consumers have this type of information, especially younger younger viewers,” said Lambert.

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