What’s Next for Yahoo Ad

Yesterday, iProspect had the chance to attend the Yahoo! NEXT presentation in Toronto where they announced several updates to their advertising platform and new opportunities for search and display advertisers across Yahoo’s properties.

The features discussed have either recently been released in Canada or are in the pipeline. The guest speakers brought insights from several Yahoo brands, the lineup included:

  • Ned Brody, head of Americas at Yahoo!
  • Tom Giovingo, National Mobile/Social Accounts Director – Retail/QSR at Yahoo!
  • Max Zimbert of Yahoo! News
  • Jeff D. Taylor of Tumblr
What’s Changing

According to Yahoo the new advertising options will include a comprehensive suite of web, mobile and video ad products across native, audience, and premium display, which are accessible through a new buying platform. These products are supported by Yahoo’s data and analytical tools, with insights into the daily digital habits of more than 800 million people worldwide.

The key updates are:
  • Ad units on Tumblr will now be powered by Yahoo Advertising and available via the new Ad Manager. Tumblr posts can be sponsored in-stream or on Radar (a rotating showcase of exceptional posts that have been handpicked by editors).
  • Yahoo’s News digest App launched in Canada last week, after being released first in the USA and UK in January. It featured in the top position on the iTunes App store and as a featured app. Ad placements within this are currently being trialled and should be available in Canada soon.
  • Audience Ads leverage a custom set of audience data from Yahoo’s 800 million users worldwide, combined with client data and third-party audience data from Yahoo partners. Once identified the audience can be targeted across Yahoo inventory and partner sites. This compliments the existing Yahoo Premium Ads offering.
  • Ad Manager was previously launched in Canada during March. Advertisers now have access to Yahoo Stream Ads, Image Ads and Tumblr sponsored posts. It is clear that Yahoo are moving towards a mobile first strategy and the system features close integration with Gemini, Yahoo’s marketplace for mobile and native ads. They are moving away from a purely CPC bidding model in several key areas to allow more flexibility with other bidding options such as engagement.
  • Ad Manager Plus is an extension of Ad Manager intended for larger premium advertisers to manage display campaigns directly with a greater level of control than was previously possible. It will also include access to some of the features of Audience Ads and Premium Ads. This will be launching in Canada in Q3-Q4.
  • Yahoo Ad Exchange has also been launched and is designed to provide premium publishers with more visibility and control over advertising on their sites. This is now rebranded, it was previously known as Right Media.
Key Highlights of the Presentation

Beyond the changes that are taking place I have briefly discussed below are the main points that stuck out for me during the presentation. It’s clear that Yahoo are looking to speed up the pace of innovation to the ad solutions available to advertisers, which is great to see.

Tracking campaigns across TV and digital

One of the most interesting features discussed was the upcoming ability for Yahoo advertisers to track engagement for the same campaign running across TV and digital placements. This is currently in the testing and development phase using a sample set of 2.5 million TV sets in the USA (set to increase to about 4 million by the end of 2014). Based on what is being shown on one of the screens within the sample set, a ping back can occur which is recorded in a cookie. Keep your eyes open for more details of how this will work for Canadian advertisers in the future!

Yahoo Food

The food section is being revamped and the aim is for ads to be as interesting as content. This will act as a model for other sections of the site in future.

There will be three types of content:

  • From advertisers
  • From users
  • From Yahoo journalists

Suitable content provided by advertisers will be run at no cost, and the position will be determined by user engagements such as clicks. If a piece of content is not getting enough engagement on its own there will be the opportunity to pay to promote based on a pay per engagement model.

Tumblr advertising

Perhaps overlooked by some in favour of players like Facebook, some interesting data came out on this during the presentation.  According to the research provided the average time spent on the site is about 16 minutes, which was higher than the main rivals. Ad units for Tumblr are powered by Yahoo Advertising and available via the new Ad Manager.

Exciting new features for marketers and advertisers! What do you think? Feel free to comment below!