Newspapers and Yahoo!: There’s more to it than i knew / thought

I just read a very interesting post at the NYT Bits blog, that reveals (at least to me) that there is much more in the deal between the Newspaper Consortium (NPC in the blog post) and Yahoo! that at least i knew / thought).

I had filed this deal as a collaboration in the classified area (mainly hotjobs). But the following quotes show that:

  • The newspapers sold outsourced advertising, their core business model, to Yahoo!
  • That there is no lack of irony (to put it mildly) that the newspapers finally resort to an outsider to build the last incarnation of the “New Century Network”, the ad network
  • Yahoo is going head to head with Doubleclick and aQuantive
  • Things in this area after a MSFT-YHOO merger are really getting interesting
  • I’m much more closely trying to figure out who is doing / going to do behavioural targeting (which is not ok for me personally) and who is only doing contextual targeting (which is ok for me personally).
  • Right now ihave the impression that Google is more conservative wrt. behavioural targeting that Yahoo and others. They know that behavioural targeting risks loosing the trust of the users (the most important asset they have).

But now the quotes (Highlighting by me)

Saul Hansell (NYT):

The more than 600 newspapers in Yahoo’s consortium have all agreed to switch to new ad serving software from Yahoo. Yahoo, of course, has been one of the biggest ad servers for its own sites, but it has not offered software to other publishers before.

The behavioral targeting ambitions can be seen in a different deal that Yahoo cut last year with WebMD last fall. Under this scenario, users who visit WebMD will be tagged, presumably through a cookie on their browsers. Later, when those users visit Yahoo properties, they can be shown ads that are sold by WebMD (rather than Yahoo). Since WebMD knows what conditions they are interested in and has relationships with health care companies interested in people with those conditions, it presumably can sell the ads for more money than Yahoo could.

These deals are interesting because they are the reverse of the typical advertising network arrangements in which networks buy the unsold pages from publishers at low rates. Here Yahoo is giving some of its pages to publishers to sell high rates, presumably because they have data about users and relationships with advertisers.

Diana Wong (Yahoo):

Yes, we have all of the basic ad management and ad serving capabilities of DART (DFA and DFP), plus the ability to target and cross-sell and run campaigns across the network, plus major leaps in ease of use and removal of friction.

As a reminder, the NPC basically expected us to provide them a replacement for DART. Their reaction is that we have significantly over delivered on their expectations by fundamentally making basic advertising and publishing easier and more effective.

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