Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL Confirm Mega Display Ad Deal

  |  November 8, 2011   |  Comments

The three will sell each others' remnant ads using real-time bidding technology from AppNexus and Yahoo.

An unprecedented ad network agreement between three of the largest display ad sellers has been made official. Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft today confirmed plans to pool together their unsold inventory in a deal that aims to increase their margins, secure higher prices for remnant ads, and augment the reach available to agencies and advertisers.

At its core, the deal is not so different from what ad networks have been doing for years, which is resell each others' inventory. By early next year, the companies aim to inegrate one another's real-time bidding platforms to facilitate the availability of non-reserved inventory, creating much larger scale and efficiency for their sales organizations. The joint platforms underlying the ad integration will be the Microsoft Advertising Exchange, built on AppNexus, and Yahoo's! Right Media Exchange. Each company will set its own controls for how it operates within the real-time bidding environment.

Yet while the deal resembles a traditional ad network agreement in some ways, in other respects it's a different beast entirely.

For one, the three digital media giants together represent a much greater variety of inventory than is available through smaller ad network companies. Operational headaches are bound to arise as three large digital media companies seek to integrate their ad formats, standards, reporting, and operations.

Other devils may arise in the details, for instance the issue of data ownership. User data safeguards will likely be necessary to secure the value each company can claim from its own inventory.

A third danger is that the integration could remove the differentiating audience characteristics of the companies' three ad network products: Yahoo's Network Plus, AOL's Advertising.com, and the Microsoft Media Network. Those networks will still offer unique data and other capabilities.

Yet the trio has clearly evaluated these challenges, deciding the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

Ross Levinsohn, Yahoo's EVP of the Americas, who has been cited as chief architect of the arrangement, said in a statement, "We're thrilled to partner with Microsoft and AOL and bring to market what we believe will be a more efficient, effective and more effortless way to access true premium inventory and formats. There has a been a significant shift in how inventory is bought and sold, and we're now 100% focused on controlling our own destiny, working directly with marketers and agencies and driving better returns for our advertising partners."

Outside the U.S., Yahoo and AOL will extend the deal to Canada. Microsoft Canada will not take part.

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zachary Rodgers

Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects. 

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

Jobs

    • Interactive Product Manager
      Interactive Product Manager (Western Governors University) - Salt Lake CityWestern Governors University, one of the 20 largest universities...
    • SEO Senior Analyst
      SEO Senior Analyst (University of Phoenix (Apollo Education Group)) - San FranciscoSEO Senior Analyst   Position Summary...
    • SEM & Biddable Media Manager
      SEM & Biddable Media Manager (Kepler Group LLC) - New YorkAs an Optimization & Innovation Manager at Kepler Group, you will be on the bleeding...