Yahoo backed off of its claim of having 1.3 million daily fantasy sports users in its first two weeks of operation, saying it misstated the “user metric.”
What Yahoo said
We reported yesterday that a claim from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer did not appear to be accurate. Mayer, speaking during Yahoo’s Q2 earnings call, said the following:
In the two weeks since launch, over 1.3 million users have tried Daily Fantasy sports and the number of players on our daily games has already exceeded our early expectations.
She also said that half of its users were paying players, which would have translated to 650,000 users that had deposited and entered a contest with a real-money buy-in. Had all of that been true, it would have been an amazing start in the DFS space for Yahoo, which launched earlier this month.
What Yahoo got wrong
The information reported by Mayer in the earnings call was attributed to a “mistake with the teleprompter,” according to a Yahoo spokesperson.
What was at issue? In reality, “1.3M users visited Yahoo Fantasy Sports properties overall – including, but not limited to, Daily Fantasy,” the spokesperson said in an email to Legal Sports Report.
“While we don’t publicly break out metrics by type of contest, we are extremely excited about how we’ve seen our loyal, legacy Fantasy users funnel to our new daily contests,” the spokesperson continued. “The metric that approximately half of all the users playing Yahoo Daily Fantasy are paying users remains correct.”
The 1.3 mm figure had appeared in several media outlets that reported on the earnings call.
So how many people are actually using DFS?
According to observed trends by LSR, the most people ever registered for a contest in the lobby at Yahoo was 12,000. Super Lobby — which generally tracks activity at DraftKings and FanDuel — backed up that figure with research of its own:
According to our numbers, over the last 6 days Yahoo DFS have had roughly 61,000 paid entries
— Daily Fantasy Lobby (@superlobby) July 23, 2015
How many unique users Yahoo has remains a mystery, but it appears to be in the thousands or tens of thousands, so far. How much of its traffic is created by regular users is also unknown.
Yahoo’s rollout of MLB contests has more or less been a soft launch for DFS. We expect Yahoo to ramp up its customer acquisition leading up to NFL season, and to offer much biggest contests in an attempt to convert its sizable season-long user base to DFS.