Yahoo announced several new advertiser initiatives during CEO Marissa Mayer’s keynote at CES in Las Vegas today. The company is putting an umbrella over its disparate ad formats and buying gateways called “Yahoo Advertising.” The aim is to give media buyers and advertisers closer to a one-stop-shop for Yahoo ad inventory to make buying Yahoo ads more appealing. The ad platform is backed by Yahoo’s user data and analytics tools for audience targeting and performance analysis.
Yahoo’s favorite ad buzzword these days is “native advertising,” and Mayer announced more native advertising opportunities on the newly launched Yahoo Food and Yahoo Tech sites. Yahoo Tech will be run by tech journalist David Pogue, who jumped from the New York Times to Yahoo in October.
Also now, under the Yahoo Advertising ad suite, are Tumblr sponsored posts. Tumblr advertisers (or are they advertisers?) can target ads by gender and location and see performance results by demographic data in Yahoo Advertising’s analytics tools.
Yahoo Audience Ads is a rebrand and expansion of what was Genome to buy ads targeted to specific audiences at scale with real-time bidding. “Advertisers have access to a comprehensive set of audience data, combining Yahoo data with advertiser data and third-party data, all usable on an extended pool of high-quality inventory,” according to the announcement.
Tiered Buying Platforms
Under the Yahoo Advertising umbrella, there will actually three tiers of the ad buying platform.
To give small and medium-sized businesses access to Yahoo’s ad products, including native and display, the company also rolled out Yahoo Ad Manager. “Yahoo Stream Ads, Yahoo Image Ads and Tumblr Sponsored Posts powered by Yahoo Advertising are available today through a simple user interface that helps advertisers get ads online in a matter of minutes, with insights and analytics built in.”
Coming later in Q1, Yahoo Ad Manager Plus is designed for larger advertisers to plan and execute more complex campaigns. Features of Yahoo Audience Ads and Premium Ads can be accessed through Yahoo Ad Manager Plus. Advertisers will also be able to manage third-party programmatic inventory. In addition, “Yahoo offers managed services through Yahoo Audience Ads and Yahoo Premium Ads for advertisers who want custom audience definition, richer campaign measurement and insights, access to exclusive inventory, varied pricing options, and full-service optimization.”
Finally, Yahoo Ad Exchange will also launch at some point this quarter, a global exchange for programmatic inventory. “The Yahoo Ad Exchange upgrades the powerful services that our partners know from Right Media with a higher-quality marketplace and an enhanced platform featuring payment clearing, advanced inventory and demand controls, and flexible private marketplaces,” according to the company.
Hoping For Broad Appeal
Yahoo is clearly hoping this unification effort helps the company stem the tide of declining ad revenues and will attract the broadest and deepest spectrum of advertisers possible. According to Yahoo’s Q3 2013 earnings, display revenue was off 7 percent and search revenue was down 3 percent year-over-year as ad prices dropped. Last month, Yahoo announced it was opening up programmatic buying capabilities for its display inventory to several DSPs and agencies.
For more on Marissa Mayer’s CES keynote, see Danny Sullivan’s article “What’s Yahoo? Mayer Says “Search, Communications, Digital Magazines & Video.”