My friends and I have always done our fantasy football leagues using Yahoo!’s free fantasy sports system. When we first started you would have to calculate your players’ points yourself by hand to get a good estimate of your score. Half the time it ended up being off by a few points anyway after all your work since it was easy to miss a statistic here and there. There was a feature called “Stat Tracker” that provided live point updates for all of your players, but it cost extra and we were not about to pay anything to get this feature even though we always wanted it. Plus Yahoo! would give us the first week free just so we could see how great it was. It was great alright, but we were not going to pay.
Well this year for the first time Yahoo! was giving this feature to everybody for free! The reason is because of competition. So to that I say “Yeah competition!” With the advent of all of these free advanced programming applications made by individual or small time developers on places like Facebook, people could find a lot of the functionality that sites like Yahoo! were making people pay for. Stat Tracker is one such item. Now that this ability was being given away for free, other companies just couldn’t charge for it and still expect to get people to pay for it, let alone still use their site. To stay competitive it would force these sites to also release it for free while changing their business model to get their revenue from some other alley.
Yahoo!’s other alley happens to be in making you pay for draft kits and more detailed information on other users moves and which players are being snagged up during the season. They found a new revenue source, we got free Stat Tracker, and everyone is happy.
While Yahoo!’s Stat Tracker was something that could be easily created by outside developers, graphic design is something that can’t just be copied. You have to have that designer’s eye to really get the same great results. Our designers have the eye and have a great history of great looking web designs. Others can try to imitate it, but we aren’t worried. If they get too close it’s copyright infringement, haha!