Yahoo’s APT and the Newspapers

picture-11As you may or may not know, Yahoo! launched its dynamic display ad platform, now called APT. It’s based on core technology acquired from the Right Media acquisition but with lots of Yahoo tweaks and special sauce. And it figures prominently in Yahoo!’s plans for the future of display advertising. It’s a fairly dramatic and impressive thing from my layperson’s point of view.

The first partners to use the platform are the members of the Yahoo! newspaper consortium. The initial partners are Hearst’s SF Chronicle and Media News Group’s Mercury News. More are quickly rolling out over the next few weeks and couple of months.

I got a demo of the platform’s back end. It’s both impressive in its capabilities (demographic targeting, geo and behavioral) and in the simplicity of its interface. What it does, among other things, is enable newspapers to sell Yahoo!’s ad inventory in addition to their own. Eventually that will be extended to other third party publishers using the system. Every newspaper publisher becomes, in effect, a sales channel and “onramp” to the system.

Yahoo!, accordingly, gets the benefit of the newspapers’ sales force to sell local businesses display advertising. (The NY Times also writes about this.)

This is very analogous to what’s going on with yellow pages advertisers and SEM. Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft are traffic sources for YP advertisers who buy SEM packages through publisher sales reps. The search engines get the benefit of the sales channel reach into areas they could never get to on their own or through self-service.

APT and the Yahoo! newspaper consortium is doing the same thing now on the display ad side.


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